Zoological name: Cats belong to the genus Felis. There are 28 species of wild small cats. Some well known species of wild small cats are leopard cat (F. bengalensis), jungle cat (F.chocus), fishing cat (F.viverrina), Asiatic golden cat (F. termincki), Pallas's cat
(F. manual), puma (F.concolor), lynx (F. lynx) and wild cat (F.silvestris).
Distribution: Wild small cats are distributed in America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Many small cats such as Pallas's cat, marbled cat, leopard cat, rusty-spotted cat, jungle cat and fishing cat are found in India.
Habitat: Their habitats range from arid regions to cool temperate forests.
Physical feature: The body weight varies from a small black cat weighing 1-2 kg to a large puma that weighs up to 103 kg. Many species of small cats have spots or stripes. The forefeet have five digits and four on the hind feet. Small cats walk on the toes. The black tear stripes are usually present. Some species have rounded ears with tufted tips. The iris of eyes may be orange, yellow or green. Reproduction: They mature at about 10 months of age. The size of a litter may go up to eight kittens. The gestation period ranges from 56-68 days or more depending on the species.
Behaviour: They mostly sleep during day and become active towards evening.
Life span: Small cats may live up to 15 years.