Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps) Classification
Flat-headed Cat by Jim Sanderson [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

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)

Genus: Prionailurus

Species: Prionailurus planiceps (Flat-headed Cat)

Subspecies: none


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).

Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps) captive - fishing in pond

Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps) - head detail

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 & Research

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!

Past projects:


Flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) on fallen log in habitat

Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps) Close-up

Flat-headed Cat Facts and Information

The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Flat-headed Cats: