Here are 14 amazing wild cats that you probably didn't know exist today, like the African Golden cat barely captured on film recently!

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9. The Margay
This breed of small wildcat lives in the regions of Central and South America and for the last 8 years, its conservation status has been listed as being near threatened. These cats were once illegally hunted because of the wildlife trade up until the 1990’s and caused a significant decline in their population. Margays look a lot like their relative the ocelot but they can be distinguished by the size of their head which is much shorter and by also examining the tail, legs, and eyes...

8. The Fishing Cat
Fishing cats are a breed of cat that happens to be twice the size of a domestic cat with a build that is described as being “stocky” and “muscular.” As of early this year, the fishing cat conservation status was officially declared to be vulnerable due to the wetlands in South and Southeast Asia being destroyed over the last ten years. Just last year, five of these cats were hunted for their fur and meat to be illegally traded Howrah District of West Bengal. Fishing cats that don’t have young to tend to live solitarily near streams, swamps, mangroves, etc. as fish makes up three-quarters of their diet thanks to scat analysis.   

7. The Andean Mountain Cat
 Native to only the high regions of the Andes Mountain range, it’s believed that less than 2,500 of these animals exist in the wild. What’s interesting to note is that this is one of only two species of cat that have no subspecies. The endangered Andean mountain cat has been classified this way for the last 14 years and the only proof of its existence were two photos that were taken back prior to 1998. The Andean mountain cat shares a similar appearance with the pampas cat and can be hard to distinguish to the untrained eye but they do have notable differences that any expert can identify.

6. The Rusty-Spotted Cat
The two subspecies of this cat happen to live in India and Sri Lanka and most recently a rusty-spotted cat was photographed in Nepal in March of this year. It was also this year that the animal’s conservation status was changed from least concern to near threatened. What little is known about their behaviors was learned by observing the individuals that are kept in captivity that exhibited nocturnal behavior but were also somewhat active during the day. There are currently 56 individuals of this breed that are kept in captivity across 8 different European zoos.   

5. The Black-Footed Cat
 This species of wild cat happens to be the smallest out of all of the African cats and is listed at being vulnerable because of numerous reasons, mainly bushmeat poaching. These cats only grow to be between 14.5 inches to 17 inches in length depending on the cat’s gender. Such as with all cats, the black-footed cat is an obligate carnivore that must consume the flesh of other animals in order to get the needed nutrients it requires to live. It was back in 2011 that The Audubon Nature Institute' Center for Research of Endangered Species was able to bring to term two male kittens through in vitro fertilization, the first of the species to be born as such.  

4. The Jaguarundi
 These little cats can be found living in the Central and South American regions of the world but they’ve also been spotted in coastal Mexico and even southern Texas. Its least concern conservation status hasn’t budged in the last 14 years. Unlike most of the cats that have already been mentioned on this list, the Jaguarundi happens to be diurnal, which means that they are active during the day. Thankfully, these cats aren’t hunted for their fur but they are suffering from a decline in population because their native habitats are being destroyed. 

3. The African Golden Cat
This rarely seen cat was just recently captured on film for the first time last year and in the video, it was seen attacking a group of red colobus monkeys. Fortunately, they all got away. Native to the rainforests of West and Central Africa, the African golden cat can vary in color patterns and may even show some spots.   

2. The Sand Cat
These little guys live in the Arabian Peninsula, Africa and western Asia where they can be found in desert climates. Their paws are specially equipped with fur that grows in between their toes in order to help protect them from the hot sand. The same type of insulation can be found in cats that live in the arctic. 

1. The Pallas’ Cat
 Also known as Manul, this cat lives in the regions of eastern Europe and all the way to Siberia where its thick coat protects it from the frigid temperatures. What’s unique about this species of cat is that their pupils are round, instead of shaped like slits. They also have fewer teeth and are considered to be the oldest cat species that happened to evolve approximately 12 million years ago. 


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