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Ranking Every Species Of Wild Feline

Cataloguing family Felidae.

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40. Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi)


While there's really no such thing as an ugly cat, these guys come pretty close. With a facial structure closer to a ferret than anything else, these close relatives of the cougar come in at the bottom of the list.

39. Bay cat (Catopuma badia)


Like the jaguarundi, bay cats just don't look much like cats. Their heads seem too small for their bodies, their legs are freakishly long, and their eyes give them a somewhat crazed appearance. That tail looks incredibly soft, though.

38. Flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps)


OK, so the flattened head on these guys is sending me mixed messages. On the one hand, I really want to think it makes them look cute, kind of like how pugs are cute because of their squashed faces. But, on the other hand, I just can't get over how weird they look. And while the red tint on the head is nice, that coloration on the body is just bland.

37. Andean mountain cat (Leopardus jacobitus)


Alright, the Andean mountain cat looks like it has a lot of potential. After all, it's got a cute face and a nice, fluffy, long tail. Sadly, I just could not find a good picture of one. They all look dirty and mangy, and until I can find proof that this isn't their natural state, I just can't rank these shabby tabbies any higher.

33. Iriomote cat (Prionailurus bengalensis iriomotensis)


Finally, a normal-looking cat with a little bit of flair! The Iriomote is certainly not the most spectacular cat out there, but it does have some interesting face markings that give it a distinctive look.

29. Serval (Leptailurus serval)


The serval is essentially a miniature version of the cheetah, which is pretty cool. However, the odd proportions of this cat's body, while not as unfortunate as those of the bay cat, are enough to keep this feline from being ranked any higher.

28. Lion (Panthera leo)


I know, I know. The lion is the "King of the Jungle." But hear me out, here, okay? When it comes down to it, lions are really pretty mundane. They don't have any interesting markings or coloration, they aren't fast like cheetahs or as intelligent as tigers... There's just not much about them that's special. The males do have those wonderful manes, though, and for that, the lion gets ranked higher than twelve of its feline cousins.

27. Pampas cat (Leopardus pajeros)


The Pampas cat, Pantanal cat (#26), and colocolo (#25) are all closely related, and some scientists even consider them to be the same species. For that reason, they are ranked consecutively on this list. All three have an intriguing combination of stripes and spots, as well as the classic cute cat face. However, one of them had to be ranked lower than the other two, and the lack of defined spots on the Pampas cat's torso landed it in the bottom position among the three. Meanwhile, the slightly more adorable facial structure and unique name of the colocolo allowed it to edge out the Pantanal.

22. Cougar (Puma concolor)


"What?" you say, "how is the cougar ranked higher than the lion?" Well, even though it's just as drab as the king of the jungle and doesn't have a fancy mane to help its case, the cougar/puma/mountain lion is basically pure grace and power in feline form. And, look at those soulful eyes! Plus, only something truly awesome is worthy of having three different names.

10. Caracal (Caracal caracal)

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The caracal may look bland at first glance, but the ridiculously long tufts on the ears and the markings around the mouth that give this species a perpetual grin earn these guys a spot in the top ten.

6. Tiger (Panthera tigris)


Like the fishing cat, tigers aren't afraid of a little water. Plus, their coats are like works of art. These big cats have definitely earned their stripes, and a spot at number six on the list.

5. Snow leopard (Panthera uncia)


And now for the best of the "big cats." Snow leopards are basically what would result if you mixed a normal leopard, a clouded leopard, and a lynx. With beautiful coats, soulful eyes, tons of grace, huge paws, and a tail you just want to cuddle up with, these felines come in at number five.

3. Margay (Leopardus wiedii)


If you could swim in an ocelot's eyes, you'd probably drown in a margay's. These felines are essentially ocelots that have had their heads shrunken without adjusting the eyes to match, resulting in one of the cutest faces you've ever seen.

1. Sand cat (Felis margarita)


And coming in at number one is... the sand cat! Where else could this little guy be ranked? With a disproportionately large head and even larger ears, no one could look at a sand cat without wanting to cuddle it to their face.

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