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Temporal range: MioceneHolocene, 9–0 Ma
Wildkatze (Felis silvestris silvestris) im Tierpark Lange Erlen, 2016-12-03.jpg
European wildcat (Felis silvestris)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Fischer von Waldheim, 1817
Type genus

see text

Felinae range.png
Native ranges of Felinae

The Felinae is a subfamily of the family Felidae. This subfamily comprises the small cats having a bony hyoid, because of which they are able to purr but not roar.[2]

Other authors proposed an alternative definition for this subfamily: as comprising only the living conical-toothed cat genera with two tribes, the Felini and Pantherini; thus excluding all fossil cat species.[3][4]


The members of the Felinae have retractile claws that are protected by at least one cutaneous lobe, their larynx is kept close to the base of the skull by an ossified hyoid.[5] They can purr owing to the vocal folds being shorter than 6 mm (0.24 in).[6][7] The cheetah Acinonyx does not have cutaneous sheaths for guarding claws.[8]


The term Felini was first used in 1817 by Gotthelf Fischer von Waldheim, at the time for all the cat species that had been proposed as belonging to the genus Felis.[9] In 1917, Reginald Innes Pocock also subordinated the following genera to the Felinae that had been proposed in the course of the 19th century: Lynx, Puma, Leptailurus, Prionailurus, Pardofelis, Leopardus, Herpailurus, Neofelis and four more.[5]

The Felinae and Pantherinae probably diverged about 11.5 million years ago. The genera within the Felinae diverged between 10.67 and 4.23 million years ago.[10][11]

Living genera[edit]

Today, the following living genera and species are recognised as belonging to the Felinae:[2]

Genus Species Image
Felis Linnaeus, 1758[12] Domestic cat F. catus Linnaeus, 1758[12]

European wildcat F. silvestris Schreber, 1775
Jungle cat F. chaus Schreber, 1777
African wildcat F. lybica Forster, 1780
Black-footed cat F. nigripes Burchell, 1824
Sand cat F. margarita Loche, 1858
Chinese mountain cat F. bieti Milne-Edwards, 1892

Jammlich crop.jpg
Lynx Kerr, 1792
Eurasian lynx L. lynx (Linnaeus, 1758)

Bobcat L. rufus (Schreber, 1777)
Canada lynx L. canadensis Kerr, 1792
Iberian lynx L. pardinus Temminck, 1827

Acinonyx Brookes, 1828 Cheetah A. jubatus (Schreber, 1775) Cheetah4.jpg
Puma Jardine, 1834 Cougar P. concolor (Linnaeus, 1771) 8th Place - Mountain Lion (7487178290).jpg
Otocolobus Brandt, 1841 Pallas's cat O. manul (Pallas, 1776) Манул промок под дождём - panoramio.jpg
Leopardus Gray, 1842 Ocelot L. pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Oncilla L. tigrinus (Schreber, 1775)
Pampas cat L. colocolo (Molina, 1782)
Kodkod L. guigna (Molina, 1782)
Margay L. wiedii (Schinz, 1821)
Geoffroy's cat L. geoffroyi (d'Orbigny & Gervais, 1844)
Andean mountain cat L. jacobitus (Cornalia, 1865)
Southern tiger cat L. guttulus (Hensel, 1872)
Pantanal cat L. braccatus (Cope, 1889)

Caracal Gray, 1843 Caracal C. caracal (Schreber, 1776)

African golden cat C. aurata (Temminck, 1827)

Caracl (01), Paris, décembre 2013.jpg
Leptailurus Severtzov, 1858 Serval L. serval (Schreber, 1776) Serval in Tanzania.jpg
Catopuma Severtzov, 1858 Asian golden cat C. temminckii (Vigors & Horsfield, 1827)

Bay cat C. badia (Gray, 1874)

Asian golden cat at Edingburgh Zoo.jpg
Pardofelis Severtzov, 1858 Marbled cat P. marmorata (Martin, 1837) Marbled cat borneo.jpg
Prionailurus Severtzov, 1858 Leopard cat P. bengalensis (Kerr, 1792)

Sunda leopard cat P. javanensis (Desmarest, 1816)
Flat-headed cat P. planiceps (Vigors & Horsfield, 1827)
Rusty-spotted cat P. rubiginosus (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1831)
Fishing cat P. viverrinus (Bennett, 1833)

Close-up of a Leopard Cat in Sundarban.jpg
Herpailurus Severtzov, 1858 Jaguarundi H. yagouaroundi (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1803) Herpailurus yagouaroundi cacomitli.jpg

Fossil taxa[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Felinae". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–545. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b Kitchener, A. C.; Breitenmoser-Würsten, C.; Eizirik, E.; Gentry, A.; Werdelin, L.; Wilting, A.; Yamaguchi, N.; Abramov, A. V.; Christiansen, P.; Driscoll, C.; Duckworth, J. W.; Johnson, W.; Luo, S.-J.; Meijaard, E.; O’Donoghue, P.; Sanderson, J.; Seymour, K.; Bruford, M.; Groves, C.; Hoffmann, M.; Nowell, K.; Timmons, Z.; Tobe, S. (2017). "A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group" (PDF). Cat News. Special Issue 11: 11−63.
  3. ^ Werdelin, L.; Yamaguchi, N.; Johnson, W. E.; O'Brien, S. J. (2010). "Phylogeny and evolution of cats (Felidae)". In Macdonald, D. W.; Loveridge, A. J. (eds.). Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 59–82. ISBN 978-0-19-923445-5.
  4. ^ Werdelin, L. (2013). "Subfamily Felinae − Cats". In Kingdon, J.; Happold, D.; Butynski, T.; Hoffmann, M.; Happold, M.; Kalina, J. (eds.). Mammals of Africa. 5. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 144–210. ISBN 978-1-4081-2251-8.
  5. ^ a b Pocock, R. I. (1917). "The classification of the existing Felidae". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. Series 8. XX (119): 329–350. doi:10.1080/00222931709487018.
  6. ^ Hast, M. H. (1989). "The larynx of roaring and non-roaring cats" (PDF). Journal of Anatomy. 163: 117–121.
  7. ^ Peters, G. (2002). "Purring and similar vocalizations in mammals". Mammal Review. 32 (4): 245−271. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2907.2002.00113.x.
  8. ^ Pocock, R. I. (1917). "VII.—On the external characters of the Felidæ". The Annals and magazine of natural history; zoology, botany, and geology. 8. 19 (109): 113−136.
  9. ^ Fischer, G. (1817). "Adversaria Zoologica. Fasciculus primus. Quaedam ad Mammalium systema et genera illustranda". Mémoires de la Société Impériale des Naturalistes de Moscou. 5: 357−446.
  10. ^ Johnson, W. E.; Eizirik, E.; Pecon-Slattery, J.; Murphy, W. J.; Antunes, A.; Teeling, E. & O'Brien, S. J. (2006). "The Late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: A genetic assessment". Science. 311 (5757): 73–77. doi:10.1126/science.1122277. PMID 16400146.
  11. ^ Li, G.; Davis, B. W.; Eizirik, E.; Murphy, W. J. (2016). "Phylogenomic evidence for ancient hybridization in the genomes of living cats (Felidae)". Genome Research. 26: 1−11. doi:10.1101/gr.186668.114. PMC 4691742.
  12. ^ a b Linnaeus, C. (1758). "Felis". Systema naturae per regna tria naturae: secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). 1 (Tenth reformed ed.). Holmiae: Laurentii Salvii. pp. 42–44.
  13. ^ Stephens, J. J. (1959). "A new Pliocene cat from Kansas". Academy of Science, Arts and Letters (44): 41–46.
  14. ^ Werdelin, L. (1981). "The evolution of lynxes" (PDF). Annales Zoologici Fennici (18): 37–71.
  15. ^ Kretzoi, M. (1929). "Materialien zur phylogenetischen Klassifikation der Ailuroïden". In Csiki, E. (ed.). Xe Congrès international de zoologie, tenu à Budapest du 4 au 10 septembre 1927. Volume 2. Budapest: Imprimerie Stephaneus. pp. 1293−1355.
  16. ^ Adams, D. B. (1979). "The Cheetah: Native American". Science. 205 (4411): 1155–1158. doi:10.1126/science.205.4411.1155. PMID 17735054.
  17. ^ Morales, J.; Pickford, M.; Soria, D.; Fraile, S. (1998). "New carnivores from the basal Middle Miocene of Arrisdrift, Namibia". Eclogae geologicae Helvetiae. 91: 27–40.
  18. ^ Morales, J.; Pickford, M.; Fraile, S.; Salesa, M. J.; Soria, D. (2003). "Creodonta and Carnivora from Arrisdrift, early Middle Miocene of southern Namibia". Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Namibia. 19: 177–194.
  19. ^ Werdelin, L. (2011). "A new genus and species of Felidae (Mammalia) from Rusinga Island, Kenya, with notes on early Felidae of Africa". Estudios Geológicos. 67 (2): 217–222. doi:10.3989/egeol.40463.184.
  20. ^ Adrian, B.; Werdelin, L.; Grossman, A. (2018). "New Miocene Carnivora (Mammalia) from Moruorot and Kalodirr, Kenya". Palaeontologia Electronica. 21 (1): 21.1.10A. doi:10.26879/778.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Felinae at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Felinae at Wikispecies