Different Kinds of Cats
1 There are many different kinds of cats roaming around all over the world. Felines belong in the Felidae family. There are over 40 different cat species. Some types of cats you know are the cheetah, jaguar, leopard, lion, tiger, and domestic cat. Cats live in every part of the world except Antarctica. The three kinds of Felidae cats include:
• Panthera - These are cats that can roar, such as lions, tigers, leopards, snow leopards, clouded leopards, and jaguars.
•Acinonyx - The only example of this cat is the cheetah.
•Felis –The six kinds of felis cats are the domestic cat, Chinese mountain cat, jungle cat, sand cat, black footed cat, and wild cat.
2 Most of you know about lions, tigers, cheetahs, and leopards. But you probably have never heard of these four wild cats.
3 The jungle cat is the largest kind of felis cat. Jungle cats live India, Egypt, and Asia. They live in woodlands, grasslands, dry forests, and along rivers and lakes. They make their homes in abandoned burrows, tree holes, and under rocks.
4 The most unique feature of a jungle cat are equal-sized claws on its legs. This allows it to climb down trees as easily as up, with its head facing downward. Their fur is yellowish-grey to reddish-brown. They have pointed ears and long legs.
5 Jungle cats are active during the day. They mostly hunt rats, mice, frogs and birds. But they also hunt rabbits, reptiles, insects, fish, and wild pigs. Jungle cats are good swimmers. And they will swim under water to catch fish.
6 If you have a cat, you have seen the cat wash its face after a meal. All cats wash themselves after eating to get rid of the smell of food. Jungle cats swim in rivers and lakes after eating to get rid of the scent of their prey. Their natural enemies are crocodiles, bears, wolves, and other larger felines such as tigers. Most jungle cats live ten to twelve years in the wild.
Chinese Mountain Cats
7 Chinese mountain cats are felis cats that live in western China. They live in grasslands, wooded forests, shrublands, desert, and mountains. These cats are not seen very often. This is because they live in high altitudes and in
harsh climates where it can be very windy, hot, or cold. Chinese mountain cats live in burrows.
8 Their fur is yellow/brown in color with dark markings on their bodies, legs and cheeks. They have light colored bellies, and their striped tail has a black tip. They have a stocky build and short legs.
9 Chinese mountain cats have long, bushy tails. The last part of its tail has dark rings around it that looks similar to a racoon’s tail. These cats are active at night. They hunt birds, mole rats, voles, and pikas. A pika is a small mammal that is related to rabbits.
10 The two main threats to Chinese mountain cats are people and domestic cats. The Chinese uses poison to kill voles, moles and pikas. The poison has killed so many of these animals that there are not as many of them for Chinese mountain cats to hunt. Domestic cats are also a threat to Chinese mountain cats. Domestic cats can give diseases to Chinese mountain cats such as feline leukemia and rabies. Domestic cats can also infect Chinese mountain cats with parasites like round worms and hook worms. No one knows exactly how long Chinese mountain cats live because the Chinese do not study them.
11 Sand cats are small cats that live in the deserts. They can be found in Africa’s Sahara Desert. They also live in central Asia. They make their homes in burrows. Sand cats like living in very dry habitats with little vegetation. They live in dry plains and rocky valleys where conditions are harsh. Surface temperatures can reach 124 degrees during the day and drop to 31 degrees at night. Living in underground burrows protects sand cats from the heat and cold.
12 They have light sandy to grey- brown fur which is a little darker on the back and lighter on the belly. They have stripes on their legs. Red streaks run across their cheeks from the corner of both eyes. Sand cats have a broad head with large eyes and short ears. They also have short legs. Their tails have two or three rings and a black tip and make up half their body length.
13 Sand cats are active at night. They hunt rodents, birds, spiders, insects, and reptiles. They are not afraid of snakes and will even kill poisonous snakes. Sand cats do not need a lot of water to live. In fact, they can survive without drinking water for weeks at a time.
14 Humans are the biggest threat to sand cats. People catch sand cats and sell them to others to keep as pets. Sand cats are also killed by dogs and other predators. Sand cats that live in zoos and with humans can live thirteen years. No one knows how long they live in the wild.
Black Footed Cats
15 Black-footed cats are the smallest Felis cat. They live in open, sandy grassy areas in southern Africa, Botswana, and Namibia. They like to live in areas that have large rodent and bird populations. During the day, they live in abandoned burrows or in holes in termite mounds. Very little is known about these cats because they are rarely seen.
16 They have cinnamon to light brown color fur with dark brown to black bands or rings on the chest, legs, and tail. Their tails are short with two or three black rings near the tip. They have short, flattened ears and large eyes. They get their name from the black pads and thick, black hair on the soles of their feet, which help protect them from the hot sand.
17 At night, they hunt rodents, birds, spiders, insects, and small reptiles. The hyena, jackal, and larger birds of prey are natural threats to black-footed cats. They can live thirteen years in the wild.