Posted on 05 December 2013.
Did you know that your pet cat is related to big cats like lions and leopards? All members of the cat family, including the domestic cat, have similar physical traits. They all have soft fur, sharp claws and teeth, and excellent eyesight and hearing. They also are carnivores—meaning they only eat meat.
Wild members of the cat family are found everywhere except Australia and Antarctica. The tiger, lion, leopard, and jaguar are known as the big cats. Other cats in the wild include the cheetah, the lynx, the ocelot, and the puma.
The bobcat, a type of lynx, is found in southern Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico. It has a short tail and a spotted coat. Bobcats are good swimmers and can leap up to 10 feet (3 meters).
The leopard is a large, spotted cat
of Africa and Asia. It hunts alone and at night and often stores its food in trees, away from other hungry animals.
The ocelot is a small wild cat found in parts of Texas and Central and South America. It has been hunted to near extinction because of the beauty of its coat.
The puma is also known as the mountain lion, panther, or cougar. It lives in many different environments in North and South America, from cold, dry mountains to hot, wet rain forests.
Even an experienced cat show judge might mistake the wildcat for one of its domestic cousins, the common house cat. The European wildcat is larger and stronger than the domestic cat and has a shorter, thicker tail.