The little known Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps) is only found in the low lying wetland habitats of Sumatra, Borneo and the Malayan Peninsular. The Flat-headed Cat readily takes to water and has partially webbed feet and backward facing teeth that help it to catch fish and other slippery aquatic creatures. Wetland destruction and the rapid rate of deforestation in the region are serious threats to the survival of this rare, specialist cat.
Leopard Cat Lineage
1. Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus)
2. Mainland Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)
3. Sunda Leopard Cat (Prionailurus javanensis)
4. Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps)
5. Rusty-spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus)
6. Pallas’s Cat (Otocolobus manul)
Key Facts about Flat-headed Cats
~ Elongated flat head ~
~ Adaptated for semi-aquatic lifestyle ~
~ Very few studies ~
Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps) Classification
The Flat-headed Cat belongs to the genus Prionailurus and the full taxonomy or scientific classification of the Flat-headed Cat species is:
Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)
Class: Mammalia (mammals)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)
Family: Felidae (cats)
Subfamily: Felinae (small cats)
Species: Prionailurus planiceps (Flat-headed Cat)
The scientific name for the Flat-headed Cat is Prionailurus planiceps which is also known as the binomial name, species name, latin name, biological name or zoological name. Some use the term 'botanical name' however that term is only applicable to the plant kingdom (botany) and not the animal kingdom (zoology).
This Flat-headed Cat classification chart shows where this cat fits into the Felidae family and in particular the Prionailurus genus.
Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps) Subspecies
The Flat-headed Cat has been described as a monotypic species (no subspecies) in the past and the last Felidae taxonomic revision in 2017 continues with this classification.
Flat-headed Cat Conservation
The global conservation status for the Flat-headed Cat is Endangered (EN) and populations are declining.
The following organizations are dedicated to research and conservation of Flat-headed Cats and other small cats:
Brunei Asia - Flat-headed Cat Status in Brunei
Global small cat conservation - Small Cat Conservation Alliance
Please support them with their important work if you can. No matter the size of your donation, every bit helps!
- Borneo - Borneo Wild Cat Project
Flat-headed Cat Facts and Information
The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Flat-headed Cats:
- Flat-headed Cat Status and Distribution Map - IUCN Red List
- Flat-headed Cat Detailed Information - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
- Flat-headed Cat Academic Literature pdf - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
- Flat-headed Cat Overview - International Society for Endangered Cats (ISEC)
- Flat-headed Cat Fact Sheet - Wildscreen ARKive
Flat-headed Cat Research
For a list of papers on Flat-headed Cats view articles on Prionailurus planiceps in the IUCN Cat Specialist Group database. (Scroll down once the library page is loaded to see the list.)
Consider joining the Friends of the Cat Specialist Group to access the full articles and receive their journal Cat News covering the latest wild cat research.