The center of origin of small wild cats is likely Asia

The center of origin of small cats is likely Asia
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Asia has the biggest number of small cat species at 14.

It’s been suggested by a couple of small cat species experts, James Sanderson and Patrick Watson, that “the center of origin of small cats is likely Asia”.

That’s because there are 14 small cat species living on the Asian continent; the most of all the continents. Although Asia is the largest continent which must help. Europe is the smallest continent with the least number of small while cat species (3). Six species live in North America while eight species live in South America.

Africa has seven small cat species.

The breakdown is as follows:


  1. Asiatic golden cat
  2. bay cat
  3. caracal
  4. clouded leopard
  5. Eurasian lynx
  6. fishing cat
  7. flat-headed cat
  8. Jungle cat
  9. leopard cat
  10. marbled cat
  11. Pallas’s cat
  12. rusty-spotted cat
  13. Sunda clouded leopard
  14. wildcat


  1. African golden cat
  2. black-footed
  3. Caracal
  4. jungle cat
  5. sand cat
  6. serval
  7. wildcat


  1. Eurasian lynx
  2. Iberian Lynx
  3. wildcat

North America

  1. bobcat
  2. Canada lynx
  3. jaguarundi
  4. margay
  5. ocelot
  6. tigrina (oncilla)

Of North America’s six small cat species, four of them live in Central America.

South America

  1. Andean cat
  2. Geoffroy’s cat
  3. guigna
  4. jaguarundi
  5. margay
  6. ocelot
  7. pampas cat
  8. tigrina (oncilla)

More than half of the world’s cats occur in Asia, the largest continent as mentioned.

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