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Unusual Cat Species

Strange cats...

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Andean Mountain Cat

This species of wild cat native to the Andes mountains in South America is rarely ever seen, let alone photographed. Scientists estimate there are only about 2,500 of them left. They are about the size of a large house-cat, and there are none currently in captivity.

Pallas’ Cat

These little fur-balls are also about the size of a domestic cat but have a whole lot more fur. Another thing that makes them unique is that they have round pupils instead of slits. Found in eastern Europe, this is believed to be the oldest species of cat, having evolved about 12 million years ago.

Sand Cat

The sand cat calls Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and western Asia home. They have fur that grows between their toes, a feature that’s usually reserved for arctic cats, that insulates their paws against the hot sand. They’re also arguably the cutest feline in history, although we must admit that is more of an observation than a scientific fact.


The margay resembles the ocelot but is smaller. They are excellent climbers and inhabit a region that stretches from Central to Southern America. They live in rain forests and hunt at night, like many other cat species.

Black-footed Cats

These absolutely precious kitties are the smallest wild cat species in the world. The adult males weigh just over 4 pounds and the adult females weigh just under 3. Recently, the Philadelphia Zoo welcomed a litter of them and they are so cute you won’t be able to handle it.

Chinese Mountain Cat

The Chinese Mountain Cat is a wildcat subspecies that is listed as vulnerable. They live in areas of northwest China with high elevations (between 8,200 and 16,400 feet). They hunt small rodent, birds, and pikas.

African Golden Cat

The African Golden Cat is native to the rainforests of west and central Africa. It isn’t always golden, and has colors ranging from cinnamon to melanistic. It prefers moist, dense forests and is commonly found near rivers. It mainly hunts at night and like most other cats is a solitary creature. Its reclusive nature means it’s extremely hard to spot in the wild.

Bornean Bay Cat

This wild cat, listed as endangered, is native to the island of Borneo. Little is known about them because they are so rare. They are nocturnal and secretive, and from 2003 to 2006 scientists set up trap-cameras to spot the animals, and only came back with one photo.


The Kodkod is the smallest cat in the Americas and primarily is found in central and southern Chile. The tiny animal weighs between 4.4 and 5.5 lbs as an adult, and is listed as vulnerable. They are excellent climbers who feed on rodents, birds, and lizards.

Rusty-spotted Cat

This cat is only found in India and Sri Lanka and is pretty tiny. It typically only weighs about 2 to 3 and half pounds – yeah, that’s tiny. They spend a large amount of their day in trees but do their hunting on the ground.

Pampas Cat

Named after the pampas of South America, the pampas cat is found in a variety of terrains, such as grasslands, shrublands, and dry forests at elevations up to 16,000 feet. Little is known about their hunting habits but these adorable guys have been seen eating rodents and birds, even going after domestic poultry at times.

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