List of the Wild Cat Species of the World

Updated on May 9th, 2017 to reflect new taxonomic decisions made by the IUCN Cat Specialist Group’s Cat Classification Task Force.

Wild Cat Species Silhouettes

So how many different species of wild cats are there in the world? That depends on who you ask. The answer ranges from 37 to 42 species. The reason for this is that cat taxonomy is incredibly difficult and genetic analysis is still shedding light on the matter. Just in early 2017, the Sunda Leopard Cat was determined to be its own species from the Leopard Cat — now called the Mainland Leopard Cat. So, to clear things up, I put together the most accepted list of the 40 wild cat species in the world. This list will undoubtedly change in the future, especially as genetic analysis reveals that current species are actually multiple different species, but I’ll be sure to update it when that happens. The list is organized by the eight different feline lineages. Finally, the underlined common names are links to pictures I have of that species.

Common Name Latin Name Lineage
1. Lion Panthera leo
2. Leopard Panthera pardus
3. Jaguar Panthera onca
4. Tiger Panthera tigris Panthera Lineage
5. Snow Leopard Panthera uncia
6. Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa
7. Sunda Clouded Leopard Neofelis diardi
8. Asiatic Golden Cat Catopuma temminckii
9. Borneo Bay Cat Catopuma badia Bay Cat Lineage
10. Marbled Cat Pardofelis marmorata
11. Caracal Caracal caracal
12. African Golden Cat Caracal aurata Caracal Lineage
13. Serval Leptailurus serval
14. Geoffroy’s Cat Leopardus geoffroyi
15. Guiña Leopardus guigna
16. Southern Oncilla Leopardus guttulus
17. Northern Oncilla Leopardus tigrinus Ocelot Lineage
18. Andean Cat Leopardus jacobita
19. Colocolo Leopardus colocolo
20. Margay Leopardus wiedii
21. Ocelot Leopardus pardalis
22. Iberian Lynx Lynx pardinus
23. Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx Lynx Lineage
24. Canada Lynx Lynx canadensis
25. Bobcat Lynx rufus
26. Mountain Lion Puma concolor
27. Jaguarundi Herpailurus yagouaroundi Puma Lineage
28. Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus
29. Mainland Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis
30. Sunda Leopard Cat Prionailurus javanensis
31. Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus
32. Flat-headed Cat Prionailurus planiceps Leopard Cat Lineage
33. Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus
34. Pallas Cat Otocolobus manul
35. European Wild Cat Felis silvestris
36. African Wild Cat Felis lybica
37. Chinese Mountain Cat Felis bieti
38. Sand Cat Felis margarita Domestic Cat Lineage
39. Black-footed Cat Felis nigripes
40. Jungle Cat Felis chaus

The currently listed subspecies that are sometimes listed as their own species.

Common Name Latin Name Sometimes Classified As
Pampas Cat Leopardus colocolo pajeros Leopardus pajeros
Pantanal Cat Leopardus colocolo braccatus Leopardus braccatus
Iriomote Cat Prionailurus bengalensis iriomotensis Prionailurus iriomotensis


BBC Wildlife Camera-trap Photo of the Year 2012 Winners Announced

BBC 2012 Camera Trap Contest

As many of you know, I love to take pictures with digital SLR camera traps. I am still learning a ton about it and people are always getting new and exciting pictures. So I wanted to point out that the BBC released the winners for this years camera trap competition. There are amazing pictures in their gallery — I would highly recommend checking them out!

Two of my images made it as well, both as commended wildlife portraits. The Genet from Yemen.


Small-spotted Genet (Genetta genetta) at night, Hawf Protected Area, Yemen

and our local Bobcat from Aptos.


Bobcat (Lynx rufus) in forest, Aptos, Monterey Bay, California

As you can see, the other people in the group are amazing camera trappers, it is an honor to be commended and have my photos displayed alongside theirs.

Ps: My personal favorite is the snow leopard (what can I say, I am a sucker for cats!)

*If you are interested in purchasing any of the pictures displayed in this post, please check out my fine prints page for pricing.*

New Digital SLR Camera Trap Pics

It’s been too long since I have posted some digital SLR camera trap shots so I figured I’d get my butt moving and show you what has been walking through the woods as of late.

I have had the first picture in my mind for years, I wanted to get a deer jumping over a big log. I set the camera up over a year ago but kept only getting deer butts instead of them jumping at the camera. Patience finally paid off as this buck jumped our way.

1Sebastian Kennerknecht-Mule Buck Jumping over log-IMG_83533

Mule Deer buck jumping over log, Santa Cruz, California

Some animals prefer to take the easier way apparently:

1Sebastian Kennerknecht - Juvenile Bobcat on Log-IMG_84569

Juvenile Bobcat on log at night, Santa Cruz, California

A little bit further down the path I set up another camera trap set-up. The first thing to come by was the ever reliable Mule Deer (or Black-tailed Deer, which ever name you prefer):

1Sebastian Kennerknecht - Mule Deer in Forest-IMG_84644

Mule Deer buck in forest, Santa Cruz, California

…and then, my first Coyote image using camera traps. I know, I know, for my fellow camera trappers this is not a big deal, but when you can add another species to your camera trapping list you are jumping up and down, running down the street (it leads to some awkward and perplexed stares from the neighbors).

1Sebastian Kennerknecht - Coyote in Forest-IMG_84641

Coyote in forest, Santa Cruz, California

That’s it for now, but hopefully more coming soon!