You might have heard people calling cats as billi ‘Mausi’. But have you ever thought who this mausi belongs to? Who actually are the relatives of your beloved or not so beloved cat? Let’s find out.


Among the cat family, domestic cats are descendants of big cats and cats that have lived in the wild for thousands of years. In fact, it’s estimated that the first cats appeared about 25 million years ago.


There are a lot of members in the cat family but we will talk about some of the most famous members of the family. Let’s know them.





This is the smallest member of the family. Domestic cats are characterized by small bodies, long tails that help them in balancing, and specialized teeth and claws that help them in hunting.





It is the largest member of the family. The Indian, or Bengal tiger is the most numerous and accounts for about half of the total tiger population.


The tiger is endangered. From the Russian Far East through parts of China, India, and Southeast Asia to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. (Globe time!!!)





The lord of the jungle – lion is the second in size only to the tiger. The lion is a well-muscled cat with a long body, large head, and short legs. Lions are most active at night and live in a variety of habitats.





This cat is most famous for its speed. Cheetahs’ sprints have been measured at a maximum of 114 km per hour. They can even reach velocities of 80–100 km per hour while pursuing prey. They are mainly found in Africa.


Cheetahs are covered almost entirely with small black spots on a background of pale yellow and have a white underbelly. Their faces are distinguished by prominent black lines that curve from the inner corner of each eye to the outer corners of the mouth.






The largest known population of Jaguars is found in the Amazon Rainforest.


They are typically orange in colour with black spots arranged in rosettes (like a rose’s formation) with a black spot at the center.


A solitary predator, the jaguar is a stalk-and-ambush hunter; its name comes from the Indian word yaguar, meaning “he who kills with one leap.”






Leopard is a large cat closely related to the lion, tiger, and jaguar. The leopard is an animal of bush and forest. It hunts at night thought it sometimes also basks in the sun. It is an agile climber and sometimes stores its food (hunter animal) at the branches of the trees.


This animal is famous for attacking humans and taking their livestock.




Black Panther


The “black panther” is a black jaguar of the Americas or a black leopard of Asia and Africa. In fact, the black panther actually has normal rosettes (spots), they are often just too hard to see because the animal’s fur is so dark.


You might have seen it a Bagira in The Jungle Book.



How can you differentiate between a leopard, Cheetah and Jaguar?


Cheetah have spots whereas leopards have rosettes. Cheetah has clear, single, black spots separated from the other spots. On the other hand, a leopard has smaller irregular shaped spots that group together in circles to form rosettes.


When it comes to appearance, the leopards and jaguars look quite similar. But the jaguar is more masculine than both leopards and cheetahs. It has more compact body, a broader head and a powerful jaw.