List of Big Cats

jaguar Big cats” is a term commonly used in reference to large wild cats.  The list of big cats below includes the different types of big cats worldwide, from tigers (the largest big cats) to clouded leopards (the smallest big cats).

You will also find species info, common and scientific names and links to more big cat information, articles, news, pictures and research.

Click on the cat’s name for more information about each species, as well as photos, research, videos, news and groups involved in big cat conservation.

For a list of small wild cats, click here. For a combined, concise list of big cats and small wild cats, without photos, scientific names or descriptions, click here.

The Big Cats Species – Biological Classification

Big cats, small wild cats and domestic cats are members of the felidae family, which is a biological classification.  A member of the felidae family is called a felid.  There are two sub-families of felidae, the Pantherinae and the Felinae.  (There was once a third family, the Machairodontinae, also known as the saber-toothed cats.)  Felids came into existence on this planet 25 million years ago.  The various species once roamed throughout the word in large numbers.  Today, many face extinction due to habitat loss and poaching. Read more about big cat biological classification

Big Cats – An Endangered Species

Big cat populations are declining all over the planet due to illegal wildlife trade, hunting, poaching, habitat loss and the loss of prey. Many big cats are listed as CRITICALLY ENDANGERED or ENDANGERED on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Read more about endangered big cats…

The Big Cats List

Cheetah

cheetah picturesThe world’s fastest land animal.  Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubalus) once ranged throughout India, Pakistan, Russia, Iran and the Middle East, but due to diminishing populations, most cheetahs can only be found in the eastern and southern parts of Africa. Today there are less than 10,000 cheetah’s left in the world.  Find groups working on cheetah conservation..  IUCN Red List of Endangered Species: Vulnerable.

Cheetah Subspecies

                            • Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus):
                            • Northwest African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki)
                            • Eastern Africa cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus raineyii)
                            • Southern Africa cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus)
                            • Central Africa cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii)

Clouded Leopard

clouded leopard pictureThe clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is found in Asia, from the Himalayas (Nepal and India) to China. Physical characteristics include a dark grey fur with black spots, blotches and mottled stripes.  There are two living subspecies of clouded leopard (the third subspecies, Neofelis nebulosa brachyura is considered extinct.): Find groups working on clouded leopard conservation.

 Clouded Leopard Subspecies

                            • Neofelis nebulosa nebulosa
                            • Neofelis nebulosa macrosceloides
                            • Neofelis nebulosa brachyuran (Now considered extinct)

Cougar

cougar picturesAlso called the puma, mountain lion, Florida panther, red tiger and catamount.  Over 30 subspecies of cougar  (Puma concolor) have been documented. Six subspecies have been recognized. Found throughout the Americas.  Find groups working on cougar conservationIUCN Red List of Endangered Species: Least Concern.

Cougar Subspecies

                            • North American cougar (P. c. couguar)
                            • Northern South American cougar (P. c. concolor)
                            • Southern South American puma (P. c. puma)
                            • Argentine puma (Puma concolor cabrerae)
                            • Costa Rican cougar (P. c. costaricensis)
                            • Easter South American cougar (P. c. anthonyi)

Jaguar jaguar picturesJaguars (Panthera onca) roam throughout Central and South America in forests located near rivers and lakes. They are very similar in appearance to leopards, but generally larger. There are several subspecies of jaguar. Find groups working on jaguar conservationIUCN Red List of Endangered Species: Near Threatened.

Jaguar Subspecies

                            • Mexican jaguar (Panthera. o. hernandesii)
                              • Centeral American jaguar (Panthera. o. centralis)
                              • Arizonan jaguar (Panthera. o. arizonensis)
                              • Central Texas to Southeastern Mexico jaguar (Panthera o. veraecrucis)
                              • Goldman’s jaguar (Panthera o. goldmani) (Yucatan/Belize/Guatamala
                            • Panthera onca onca (Venezuela/Amazon) Panthera onca palustris (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay)
                              • Peruvian jaguar (Panthera o. peruviana)

Leopard

leopard picturesFound worldwide in habitats across Africa, India, Asia, the Middle East and Malay peninsula. Leopard subspecies include the Persian leopard, the Arabian , the Sri Lankan leopard and the Javan leopard.  Find groups working on leopard conservationIUCN Red List of Endangered Species: Threatened.

Leopard Subspecies

                            • Indian leopard (Panthera p. fusca)
                            • African leopard (Panthera p. pardus)
                            • Javan leopard (Panthera p. melas)
                            • Arabian leopard (Panthera. p. nimr)
                            • North Chinese leopard (Panthera. p. japonensis)
                            • Persian leopard (Panthera. p. saxicolor)
                            • Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera. p. kotiya)
                            • Indochinese leopard (Panthera. p. delacouri)
                            • Anatolian leopard (Panthera p. tulliana)
                            • Balochistan leopard (Panthera. p. sindica)
                            • Amur Leopard (Panthera p. orientalis) Also known as the Far Eastern leopard, Korean leopard and Manchurian leopard) One of big cats - the amur leopardthe rarest big cats and dangerously close to extinction, with less than 30 Amur leopards left in the wild.  Named for the Amur River located in eastern Mongolia.  IUCN Red List of Endangered Species: Critically Endangered.

Lion

lion pictureThe lion (Panthera leo) once roamed throughout southeastern Europe, the Middle East and parts of India. While a small population still remains in India, the species now occupies habitats in various parts of Africa.  Find groups working on lion conservationIUCN Red List of Endangered Species: Endangered.

Lion Subspecies

                            • Asiatic lion (Panthera l. persica) –  also called the Gir lion, Indian lion, Persian lion, Eurasian lion. The Asiatic lion is only found in Gujarat, a state in India. This highly endangered species was almost hunted to extinction. Only 13 lions existed in 1907 when an Indian prince banned hunting the cats. There are currently less than 500 Asiatic lions in existence.
                            • West African lion (Panthera l. senegalensis)
                            • Congo lion (Panthera l. azandica)
                            • East African lion (Panthera l. nubica) (Masai lion)
                            • Southwest African lion (Panthera l. bleyenberghi) (Katanga lion)
                            • Southeast African lion (Panthera l. krugeri) (Transvaal lion)
                            • Barbary lion (Panthera l. leo) (EXTINCT)
                            • Cape lion (Panthera l. melanochaita) (EXTINCT)

Snow Leopard

snow leopard picturesThe snow leopard is nearly extinct, with remaining populations located in the mountains of Asia.  Find groups working on snow leopard conservation. IUCN Red List of Endangered Species: Endangered.

Sunda Clouded Leopard

sunda bornean clouded leopard pictureThe Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi), also called the Sundaland clouded leopard is found in Sumatra and Borneo.  Studies show a continuing decrease in population.  The leopard’s local name means “tree branch tiger.”  Photo credit: Spencer Wright (North Walsham, England). Find groups working on Sunda clouded leopard conservation.

Tiger

tiger picturesThe tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest of all big cats. Less than 3,200 tigers exist in the wild today. At one time, there were 9 subspecies. Three subspecies are now extinct. Find groups working on tiger conservationIUCN Red List of Endangered Species: Endangered.

Tiger Subspecies

                            • Amur tiger | Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)
                            • Indochinese tiger (Panthera t. corbetti)
                            • Bengal tiger (Panthera t. tigris)
                            • Sumatran tiger (Panthera t. sumatrae)
                            • Malayan tiger (Panthera t. jacksoni)
                            • South China tiger (Panthera t. amoyensis)
                            • Bali tiger (EXTINCT) (Panthera t. balica)
                            • Javan tiger (EXTINCT) (Panthera t. sondaica)
                            • Caspian tiger (EXTINCT) (Panthera t. virgata)

_________________________________________________________________

Big Cats by Region

Africa                                    

Cheetahs, leopards and lions.

Asia                                               

Asiatic cheetahs, Amur leopards, Sunda clouded leopards, clouded leopards, Asiatic lions, snow leopards and tigers.

North America, Central America and South America

Cougars, jaguars (in Spanish – león and tigres)

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93 Comments on "List of Big Cats"

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Matty
Guest
2 years 7 months ago

Life without the cats is impossible regardless their size!
I love cats and i always try to protect them even when the people consider them as a pest!
i hope one day we all get to the realisations that our nature without the cats charm and intelligent is going to be the boring palace to be, i dont like to see the life without them.
I am willing to do anything to save the cats special the big ones.

matty

NM
Guest
NM
2 years 7 months ago

I am a Biologist and was looking at your site to simply get scientific names for big cat genomic sequencing and noticed that for the Sundas Clouded Leopard a typo was made “Neoflis nebulosa” which should be “Neofelis nebulosa”. It will help in professionalism to fix it.

Cheers,

ayswaria
Guest
ayswaria
2 years 6 months ago

very good answer

Caroline
Guest
Caroline
2 years 6 months ago

I love big cats and when I go to college I want to be a wild animal trainer! They are so sweet and loveable!:)

Susan doherty
Guest
Susan doherty
2 years 6 months ago

I have been studying these amazing animals my whole life I feel so frustrated that I can’t be actively involved in saving them other than raising awareness any ideas

Kate Neale
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Kate Neale
2 years 5 months ago

Thank you for creating this site!!!!!!
I am only young (12 yrs old) but I have loved big cats for as long as I can remember. I think it’s tragic that they are being killed off and I thank you so much for raising awareness and taking action against this. It frustrates me that I can’t do much to help, and so I’m glad when I see people like you taking a stand.
Thank you!

Q
Guest
Q
2 years 5 months ago
I’m a 20-year-old Malaysian who’s been studying Animal Studies in north Wales & am coming into final year (Hons) in coming October 2014. A lot of my coursework in the past two years are about big cats i.e. white/tigers, white/lions, jaguar, leopard, etc as they’re my utterly most favourite animals I’d love to know in depth particularly in their behaviours, and it happened that I could make my final presentation fortnight ago on psychological learning & theories in training big cats. One of research papers I did under Conservation module recently was on monitoring snow leopard but I had to… Read more »
Frank
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

Any particular reason the Amur Tiger is not listed in the list of Big Cats?

amol
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

I really love will cats also love whole wild life n if I”ll chance to volunteering in wild life so I”ll anytime ready for that, thank to you.

Yaw Nuamah Boadu
Guest
Yaw Nuamah Boadu
2 years 4 months ago

I love cats and want to join a society that promotes the wellbeing of the cat family both domesticated and wild.
Will be most grateful if I could be introduced to any such groups as thats what I long to do.

Ravi Ranjan
Guest
Ravi Ranjan
2 years 4 months ago

I too love big cats…..and its really painful to hear that they r being killed 4 there skin…I feel sorry for myself that i can’t contribute in saving these majestic animals…

Chirag
Guest
Chirag
2 years 4 months ago

a big cat is a inspiration and a role-model to me

Addison
Guest
Addison
2 years 3 months ago

I’m only 11 and I have loved all cats big and domestic as long as I can remember and people keep hurting them and the environments they live in! Lions and leopards are my favorite big cats but I want to save all of them my mom won’t let me sign up for conservation sites yet but when she does I’m sure I will!

Dani
Guest
Dani
2 years 3 months ago

I live and work as a paramedic in south Africa but have always had a great passion for cats (domestic and wild). My goal is to work with big cats in south Africa, I would love to be part of the cheetah outreach programme or anything similar. If anyone knows of or has any contacts in this area I would greatly appreciate it if you could let me know. I have 5 of my own domestic cats and they are my pride and joy.

Amol
Guest
Amol
2 years 2 months ago

Hi… myself Amol n m preparing wild life photographi in pune. I love whole wild life n every animals, I want to joined animal resqu for life time, I want give my whole life to wild.

MattiC
Guest
MattiC
2 years 2 months ago

Thanx 2 ur site I’m now able 2 define my 65 y o, leonian personality I’M NOT A COUGAR. HELL, I’M A JAGUAR!!!

john
Guest
john
2 years 2 months ago

I love Cats, but nothing can ever beat my love for DOGS – MAN’S BEST FRIEND.

Aditi Mahna
Guest
Aditi Mahna
2 years 1 month ago

I would like to be a volunteer pls let me knw how can I join and how can I contribute for the big cats survival nd growth.I really want that dere population should grow otherwise our eco system will get disturbed and for that nly we will b responsible.

dhanraj
Guest
dhanraj
2 years 1 month ago

Save the king …be a king

Dot Paterson
Guest
Dot Paterson
2 years 1 month ago

Caroline…..these animals are not for training…get a life,leave them in a reserve where they can live in the wild safely,without nutters trying to get a trophy for their wall.they are beautiful and magnificent, puppies are “cute”as you say.

AmurLeopardLover
Guest
AmurLeopardLover
2 years 1 month ago

Hi! I love how you have this website set up with so much big cat information! I’m planning on researching big cats as a career when I grow up and this helps he get a head start. Ever since 4th grade I’ve loved Amur Leopards a lot and this helps me keep track of what is happening to save them. I also wanted to let you know you missed out a fact on Amur Leopards. Most if the Amur Leopards in captivity are not purebreds it been confirmed that only 30% are not mixed with other leopard subspecies.

raegan lynch
Guest
raegan lynch
2 years 1 month ago

I love big cats I want to be a behaviourist and am taking all measures to help save the predators, just thinking about having to tell my future children that there once was such a thing as a lion, tiger, amur leopard is heart breaking so I hope to god something changes, why kill them when there much more beautiful and majestic alive!

Bronwyn Noble
Guest
Bronwyn Noble
2 years 1 month ago
I, too, love cats of all sizes. However, loving them will not stop people with money to burn from commisioning people who have no other way of making money to go out and kill a leopard for its skin or an elephant for its ivory. One must think in the same terms as the poachers. If each person who deplores the death of these innocents via loss of habitat or outright “murder,” we must help fund terribly real cure– good policing, and stringent enforcement of the laws. If you have agreed with these comments, and you do nothing to prevent… Read more »
Adelaide Kovacs
Guest
Adelaide Kovacs
2 years 20 days ago

Hi, I’m so sorry to hear that nearly every big cat is endangered. If I could, all the hunters would be the hunted. I want to do more than raise awareness, I want them to survive, to thrive! Why can’t a world work together to save these majectic species? We’re killing them, yet we don’t know them. Hope this changes!

shubham
Guest
shubham
2 years 7 days ago

what is Panther…..?

Harold Hammond
Guest
2 years 1 day ago

HI i really like big cats i do everything to help them i donated money and items to help them i just wish people would save and protect them instead of hurting or killing them it makes me sick why cant they stop i really appreciate what people are doing to help them thank you from hmh

Lynna
Guest
Lynna
2 years 1 day ago
Thank you, this list was just what I was looking for. My daughter, who is 7 fell in love with big cats a few years ago and I have been collecting realistic plushies of all the big cat types for her. Does anyone know of any conservation websites that sell these types of toys for children? Ive managed to find many different types, but Im having trouble with the lesser known wild cats like the caracal, serval, jaguarundi, etc and any help would be appreciated. I really want to encourage her love of these animals and her desire to learn… Read more »
HARSH GOYAL
Guest
HARSH GOYAL
1 year 10 months ago

awesom

hilda
Guest
1 year 10 months ago
big cats are a part of nature and i refuse to let them go extinct. They deserve more help to bring their populations back up. People need to stop taking their habitat so they can live on. By the way Bronwyn Noble, they’re not helping kill the big cats by posting comments, they are just posting how they feel and that they should be protected. Bronwyn Noble, if your going to put people down like that, its going to prevent people actually doing things about it, which comes back to you you killing what you love. Big cats deserve more… Read more »
Alina
Guest
Alina
1 year 10 months ago

*I Love Cheetahs! Such a beautiful animal & so majestic*

viki
Guest
viki
1 year 9 months ago

Ok so I have a small question, is it really true that lions attack cheetahs for no reason? Because I have heard many rumors that it is true…

keisha
Guest
keisha
1 year 9 months ago
I just wanted to say thank you for help saving the big cats and to show my appreciation for my class business I am doing a report and making t-shirts and putting facts and pics about the big cats to help them get off the list of extinction I just luv the big cats and I can’t imagine this whole world without them in my life band I’m thinking of starting my own real business of saving the big cats. I know this isn’t much but it’s all I can do for right now. Thank you.
lilian fredy mwanga
Guest
lilian fredy mwanga
1 year 9 months ago

I think it time we have to look for a good solution to save the remaining species am doing wild life management at sokoine university in Tanzanian it is so painful if you see how threaten this animal are measures should be taken if we real want to save the remaining species and education to local people will help to reduce unless we will conserve nothng

Rachel
Guest
Rachel
1 year 9 months ago
I am so glad that someone is doing something like this, raising awareness about big cats. I feel frustrated that, as a 12 year old trying to stand up for these majestic creatures, only my girl scout friends and parents and a few friends outside of my troop listen to me without being bored to death or thinking it’s cute that I’m trying to make a difference at such an age. I hope to one day post something somewhere, proposing a petition saying straight-up that African governments with this problem in their country need to stop sitting around and letting… Read more »
jade jederez
Guest
1 year 9 months ago

The very fact that lions and most big cats are going to be wiped out really scares me I love lions and I hope that there still around long enough so that my kids can see them

lynsey brown
Guest
1 year 7 months ago

this is so sad! we need to save these poor animals–can you imagine life without them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mahendra
Guest
Mahendra
1 year 7 months ago

Hi, i am Mahendra i have a unique place in my heart for those animals. Saving those animals are important. Else we have to show the pics and videos of animals to the next generation children and more over the beauty of the natural and forest resoure will be vanished,that should not happen. Those cats should be saved.

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