1. Asiatic Cheetah
This gorgeous cat once roamed all across the Middle East, Central Asia, north into southern Kazakhstan and southeast into India.
Now, thanks to habitat destruction, poaching, and over-hunting of its prey, there are only about 70-110 Asiatic cheetahs left in the wild, all occupying the arid, central plateau of Iran.panthera.org
2. Snow Leopard
Found in the in the rugged mountains of Central Asia, Snow leopards are perfectly adapted to the cold, barren landscape of their high-altitude home.snowleopard.org
Unfortunately, they are hunted extensively for their fur, and there are only between 4,000 and 6,500 snow leopards left in the wild.
3. Fishing Cat
Unlike my kitty, who hates to get wet, the Fishing Cat is a skilled swimmer that lives along rivers, streams and in mangrove swamps.
In 2008, the fishing cat was classified as Endangered since they are live primarily in wetland habitats, which being settled, degraded and converted at an alarming rate.
4. Borneo Bay Cat
“The bay cat, or Pardofelis badia, is a mysterious little wildcat that lives only on the island of Borneo…Logging has threatened some of these cats’ tropical forest habitats, and the creature is now listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.” This is one of the only high quality photos of the Borneo Bay Cat in existence.
5. Flat-Headed Cat
With a slender body and uniquely shaped head, this cat loves eating fish and hanging out by itself. It has been listed as endangered since 2008 due to habitat destruction. Current population is estimated to be fewer than 2,500.
6. Andean Mountain Cat
“This cat is one of about two dozen small wildcat species found around the world. In comparison to their larger cousins which may have millions of dollars dedicated to conservation efforts, conservation efforts exist on budgets in the thousands for small wild felids like the Andean mountain cat.”
7. Iberian (Spanish) Lynx
The Iberian Lynx is considered to be the most endangered wild cat species in the world, and is one of the rarest mammals on the planet today.
8. Pallas’s Cat
These adorable cats spend love to hang out in caves, rock crevices, or marmot burrows, and emerge in the late afternoon to begin hunting. Thanks to habitat degradation, prey base decline, and hunting, it has been endangered since 2002.
The Margay is perfectly designed for life in the trees. It’s the only cat that can rotate its hind legs 180°, enabling it to run head first down trees like a squirrel. It can also hang from a branch by one hind foot! Over 14,000 Margays are killed each year, just for their pelt. This has decimated the Margay population because they only reproduce once every 2 years and the kitten mortality rate is 50%.bigcatrescue.org
This cat loves to roam the African savannas, and has the longest legs of any cat in the world (relative to body size). Unfortunately, they’re hunted incessantly for their coats, which are sold to unsuspecting tourists as “cheetah” or “leopard.”awf.org
Also known as the ‘desert lynx,’ this cat can produce a barking sound, which is possibly used as a warning. It’s considered threatened in North Africa, and rare in the central Asian republics and India.
12. African Golden Cat
It was only recently that conservationists were able to capture a picture of this reclusive, nocturnal cat alive.
The African Golden is a small wild cat only about twice the size of a domesticated cat. Although their lifespan is unknown in the wild, in captivity they can live up to about 12 years.
13. Asian Golden Cat
This cat likes to hang out in tropical and sub-tropical moist evergreen and dry deciduous forests. Deforestation and hunting for its pelt and bones are the reasons this can is endangered.bigcatrescue.org
14. Sand Cat
This unique cat has a wide head and fur growing between the toes, to protect it from hot surfaces. This cat is listed as threatened, with hunting prohibited in many countries.
15. Amur Leopard
“Due to extensive habitat loss and conflict with humans, Amur leopards are critically endangered, with around 30 believed to remain in Russia and China. The Amur leopard is also known as the Far East leopard, the Manchurian leopard or the Korean leopard.”worldwildlife.org
16. Sumatran Tiger
The Sumatran is the last of Indonesia’s tigers surviving in the wild.
Despite increased law enforcement and antipoaching policies, they’re being hunted into extinction to satiate global markets for tiger parts and products. Fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers still exist.
17. Clouded Leopard
The clouded leopard is considered to be the evolutionary link between the big cats and small cats. Clouded leopards are threatened by habitat loss following large–scale deforestation and commercial poaching for the wildlife trade. Its total population size is suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals.
18. Marbled Cat
Often mistaken for the Clouded Leopard, this cat is much smaller and has a distinctive bushy tail. “The major threat to this cat is believed to be the widespread destruction of its forest habitat throughout Southeast Asia, which is occurring at an alarming rate and not only affects this species, but also its prey base.”
19. Leopard Cat
This cat’s color can range from grey to red with white or very light underparts. It is the first wild cat to be successfully used in a domestic-wild hybrid breeding program, resulting in the beautiful and friendly Bengal breed.
20. Maltese Tiger
Also known as ‘the blue tiger,’ the Maltese is so rare it’s almost mythical. “Most of the Maltese tigers reported have been of the South Chinese subspecies. The South Chinese tiger today is critically endangered, due to their illegal and continued use in traditional Chinese medicine and the “blue” variety may already be extinct.”
21. Golden Tabby Tiger
The Golden Tabby isn’t a distinct species of tiger, rather its name refers to a color deviation. Most often, Golden Tabbies are the result of captive breeding, but India has records of wild golden tigers which date back as far as the early 1900s.
22. White Lion
White Lions are not albinos, but a genetic rarity that occurred naturally in only one location on Earth: the Kruger to Canyon Biosphere in South Africa. Removed from this unique area because of their novelty, white lions “became technically extinct for nearly two decades before the Global White Lion Protection Trust initiated a world-first re-establishment of White Lions within their unique endemic range.”whitelionshomeland.org
23. Anatolian Leopard
For over 30 years, this Turkish leopard was thought to be extinct. Then, in 2013, a shepherd in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır killed a big cat threatening his flock. Biologists later confirmed that it was an Anatolian leopard. Although the story is sad, it gives hope that this species might still exist.hurriyetdailynews.com
24. Rusty Spotted Cat
Measuring only 20-30 inches in length including its tail, and weighing between 2 and 3.5 lbs., the Rusty Spotted Cat is the smallest wild cat in the world! We know almost nothing about this secretive cat. Unfortunately, the Rusty Spotted cat is listed as a”vulnerable” species because much of its natural habitat has turned into farmland.
25. Scottish Wild Cat
Also known as”The Tiger of the Highlands,” the UK’s Scottish Wild Cat is critically endangered, with a recent population estimate of less than 400.scottishwildcats.co.uk
26. Black Footed Cat
The smallest of all the African wild cats, this species has black fur on the soles of its feet to protect it from the hot desert sand. Because they often scavenge, black footed populations are threatened by poison baits and traps set for other animals.bigcatrescue.org
These beautiful wild cats can only be protected by supporting conservation and education around the world.Visit www.wildcatconservation.org andwww.panthera.org to find out how you can help save them.
Source: The Open Mind