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About Big Cats

About Big Cats

About Big Cats

Big cats is not a scientific classification.

Some people use the term "big cat" to refer to members of the Genus Panthera, while others use the term with much broader meaning. The group of big cats can also include the: tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard, cougar, cheetah, snow leopard, and clouded leopard.

Despite the differences in size, the various species of cat are quite similar in both structure and behavior. The big cat that is significantly different from other cat species is the cheetah. Most big cats can roar.

Big Cat Classification:

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora

Status: The status of big cats varies from geographical region to region, but the primary threat to big cats are habitat destruction and poaching. The populations of lions, leopards, cheetahs and tigers have all drastically declined in the last half-century.

Big Cats Include:

Tiger - Panthera Tigris
Lion - Panthera Leo
Leopard - Panthera Pardus
Cheetah - Acinonyx Jubatus
Cougar - Puma Concolor
Snow Leopard - Uncia Uncia
Clouded Leopard - Neofelis Nebulosa
Sunda Clouded Leopard - Neofelis Diardi

Size: The male Siberian Tiger is the largest cat in the world measuring and are about 10.75 feet long and weigh approximately 660 lbs. The smallest "big" cat in the world is the Clouded Leopard 27-37 inches long and weighing between 33 and 51 lbs.

Habitat: Big cats are found in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe.


Asia - Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Clouded Leopard
Gir Forest in India - Lion
Americas - Jaguar, Cougar
Africa - Leopard, Cheetah
Iran - Cheetah
Borneo - Sunda Clouded Leopard
Sumatra - Sunda Clouded Leopard

Diet: Big cats are carnivores.

Did You Know?

The Cheetah is the fastest of the big cat species.

Birth: Big cats typically have litters of 2-3 kittens, smaller big cats may have larger litters.

Population Estimates


50 years ago















Conservation Status: Some Species Endangered

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