The Cat Family We Should Know

The Cat Family We Should Know 1

You might have been curious when you saw a cat at home? How could the features of your pet resemble leopard in the jungle? Or maybe you see wild cats roaming around food stalls that are somehow have similar stature to muscular tigers. Is it possible that the domestic cats around us have family kinship with big cats in the wildlife such as lions, tigers, jaguars, and leopards?

Big cats and cats are known belong to members of Felidae family. Thousands of years ago, the cat family had social relations with humans. This is the most famous member of cat family that we recognize as a domestic cat. This cat is a carnivorous mammal that is mostly taken care in homes and is included in the subspecies of Felis Silvestris Catus.

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The fossils of Felidae members were first discovered in Esocene period around 40 million years ago. This was the period when the first modern mammals appeared on Earth.

Well, what’s interesting about this cat family? Is there a difference between domestic cats and big cats that we often see in the wild nature? Let’s find out!

Cat Category in General

Felidae family can be categorized into two subfamilies in general, namely Panthera and Felinae.

The Cat Family We Should Know 2


Pantheraniae category includes most of the big cats like tiger, jaguar, leopard, lion, and so on. The cats in this category are famous for their roaring ability. This ability is due to the condition of their larynx. The laryngeal structure has hard hyoid device suspensory which is connected to the skull base. In addition, this big cat has a large vocal muscle, a thick mucous layer that makes its rounded vocal folds become single with large cricothyroid musles membrane long and narrow until their vocal fold reaches a length of 9 mm. That is why their roar is heard more often than cats in the Felinae category.

The name Pantherinae as a subfamily in the Felidae family was first discovered by Reginald Innes Pocock, a British zoologist, in 1917. Pocock also explained that Pantherinae consisted of the genera Panthera and Uncia at first. Then, he examined DNA and got results is Panthera Tigris became the first branch of the Panthera genus which was followed by the Panthera Onca, Panthera Leo, then Panthera Pardus and Panthera Uncia.

The Pantherinae subfamily consists of:

Genus of Panthera, consists of Panthera Tigris (Tiger), Panthera Onca (Jaguar), Pantera Leo (Lion), and Panthera Pardus (Leopard).

Genus Uncia, consists of Uncia Uncia (Snow Leopard).

Genus Neofelis, consists of Neofelis Nebulosa (Clouded Leopard) and Neofelis Diardii (Sundanese Branch Tiger).


Most of the Felinae subfamily consists of domestic cats that we know a lot about like our cats at home. The body size ranging from small to medium and there are also bigger size cats like cheetahs and pumas.

The Felinae genera consists of:

Felis, consists of felis catus (domestic cats), felis chaus (bobcat), felis silvestris (wild cat), and felis bieti (Chinese mountain cat).

Pardofelis, consists of pardofelis marmorata (wild stone cat).

Profelis, consists of profelis aurata (golden cat).

Acinonyx, consists of acinonyx jubatus (cheetah).

Puma, consists of puma yagouaroundi (Jaguarundi) and puma concolor (puma).

Catopuma, consists of catopuma badia (Kalimantan cat) and catopuma temminckii (temminck cat).

Lynx, consists of lynx lynx (Eurasian lynx), lynx rufus, and lynx canadensis (Canadian lynx).  

Prionailurus, consists of prionailurus rubiginosus (spotted cat), prionailurus bengalensis (hunchback cat), and prionailurus viverrinus (mangrove cat).

Leopardus, consists of leopardus jacobitus, leopardus braccatus, and leopardus colocolo.  

The Cat Family We Should Know 3

Cat Family in Bali Safari Park

Asia and Africa are the big homes for millions of cats’ species. You may not miss the chance to see some species of those cats in Bali Safari and Marine Park. Is it cats or big cats family, you can meet all of them here, the home for these protected animals.

Wanna know more about our other animals? Do visit our website to book an available packages.

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