What are the different types of wild cats? Cats are carnivorous animals. As a matter of fact, they have been referred to as the most carnivorous of all carnivores implying that they feed on other backboned animals. They have unique characteristics of good eyesight and fast speed which helps them in their hunting activities. As a matter of fact, during the night or in dark periods, their vision is six times sharper that of humans. Broadly, cats are divided into two major categories which are: Small cats (mostly domestic) and big cats which are mostly large and wild. In this article, I will explain about four types of wild cats which are: Cheetah, Jaguar, Leopard and Puma.
The cheetah is one type of the big cat family that has very distinctive features. It is one of the fastest types of wild cats running as fast as 115 Km/h. This feature is important in that it helps it capture its predators. It has a coarse and short fur with black spots. On average, an adult cheetah weighs about 23 Kg. The male cheetahs are usually larger than their female counterparts with relatively bigger heads. To an average person, it is one of the most difficult things to differentiate between a cheetah and a leopard. However, the difference is in that the cheetah is usually shorter bodied but with a longer tail. It also appears more streamlined than a leopard. Cheetahs are facing a big problem world-wide as they are being hunted for their fur which is actually very beautiful.
It has been said that a jaguar is the most beautiful type of wild cat in the world. The jaguar resembles a leopard but it is usually bigger in size than the leopard. It is usually a solitary but an opportunistic carnivore in the food chain. Recent research suggests that the jaguar is a near threatened species in the world with its numbers becoming fewer and fewer on a daily basis. Female jaguars are usually 10% smaller than their male counterparts. A male jaguar weighs about 160 kilograms and the smallest females have low weight of 35 kgs. In the big cat family, jaguars have the characteristic in that they have the shortest tails.
The leopard is the smallest types of wild cats in the big four category. It is a spotted animal that feeds on meat. They have short legs and long bodies. In addition, on its appearance, the leopard is similar to the jaguar with a distinction in that it has a smaller body that is slightly built. The main characteristics of the leopard are that they are opportunistic in nature, fast speed,, ability to climb trees and the fact that they are able to adapt to new habitats.
The puma is the largest big cats with an American origin. After the jaguar, the puma is the heaviest of the above named cats. On average, an adult male puma weighs about 70kg with a length of 2.5m from nose to tail. The female puma weighs about 40kg. Pumas are extremely beautiful just as the other types of wild cats. Unlike the above cats, the puma do not have a fixed den.