Within the animal kingdom the Felidae family is classified as one of the cat-like families (Feliformia) that belong to the carnivorous group (Carnivora) of mammals. The Felidae lower classifications are divided into two subfamilies Pantherinae and Felinae.

Felidae Family Classification

Kingdom: Animalia   (animals)

Phylum: Chordata   (vertebrates)

Class: Mammalia   (mammals)

Order: Carnivora   (carnivores)

Suborder: Feliformia   (cat-like)

Family: Felidae   (cats)


The Felidae family is often called the true cat family to distinguish it from other families of cat-like animals - like genets and civets.

Felidae family classification
The Felidae Family Classification in the Animal Kingdom.
Felidae Lower Classification
Felidae Lower Classifications – Subfamilies Pantherinae and Felinae
Nov 2017 Update: 33 species small cats - slide to be updated

Felidae Classification updates since 36 species

Nov 2015: 36 wild cat species (excluding Domestic cat (Felis catus))

Nov 2016: + 2 = 38 species

  1. Chinese Mountain Cat (Felis bieti) described as a separate species in the Felis group.
  2. Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus) split into the Northern Tiger Cat (Leopardus tigrinus) and Southern Tiger Cat (Leopardus guttulus) in the Leopardus group.

Nov 2017: + 2 = 40 species

  1. Wildcat (Felis silvestris) split into the European Wildcat (Felis silvestris) and the African & Asian Wildcat (Felis lybica) in the Felis group.
  2. Sunda Leopard Cat (Prionailurus javanensis) described as a separate species in the Leopard Cat group.

Wild Cat List by Lineage.pdf

Felidae Lower Classifications

The Felidae lower classifications consist of 2 subfamilies, 14 genera, 40 species and numerous subspecies.

Family: Felidae

Subfamily: Pantherinae (big cat species) - 2 genera and 7 species

Genus: Panthera

Genus: Neofelis

Subfamily: Felinae (small cat species) - 12 genera and 33 species

Genus: Acinonyx

Genus: Caracal

Genus: Catopuma

Genus: Felis

Genus: Herpailurus

Genus: Leopardus

Genus: Leptailurus

Genus: Lynx

Genus: Otocolobus

Genus: Pardofelis

Genus: Prionailurus

Genus: Puma


View the full list of Felidae genera and species.