| Cat: 12 – 18 years, Wildcat: 13 – 14 years, Black-footed cat: 10 years|
Cat: 3.6 – 4.5 kg, Wildcat: 5 – 8 kg, Black-footed cat: 1.9 kg
Cat: 23 – 25 cm, Black-footed cat: 25 cm
Cat, Wildcat, Sand cat, Jungle cat, Black‑footed cat
Felis is a genus of small and medium-sized cat species native to most of Africa and south of 60° latitude in Europe and Asia to Indochina.
Results of genetic studies indicate that Felis, Otocolobus and Prionailurus diverged from a Eurasian progenitor about 6.2 million years ago, and that Felis species split off 3.04 to 0.99 million years ago.
This genus also includes the domestic cat. The smallest Felis species is the black-footed cat with a head and body length from 38 to 42 cm (15 to 17 in). The largest is the jungle cat with a head and body length from 62 to 76 cm (24 to 30 in). Felis species inhabit a wide range of different habitats, from swampland to desert, and generally hunt small rodents, birds and other small animals, depending on their local environment. The worldwide introduction of the domestic cat also made it common to urban landscapes around the globe.
The generic name Felis means "cat" in Latin, for it comes from the Latin feles meaning the same thing. The term "feline" is derived from the adjective form felinus ("of the cat").
Felis species have high and wide skulls, short jaws and narrow ears with short tufts, but without any white spots on the back of the ears. Their pupils contract to a vertical slit.
Linnaeus considered Felis to comprise all cat species. Later taxonomists split the cat family into different genera. In 1917, the British zoologist Reginald Innes Pocock revised the genus Felis as comprising only:
Several scientists consider the Chinese mountain cat a subspecies of F. silvestris.
The Transcaucasian black cat F. daemon, described by Satunin in 1904 turned out to be a feral black cat, probably a hybrid of wildcat and domestic cat.
Pocock accepted the Pallas's cat as the only member of the genus Otocolobus. Other scientists consider it also a Felis species. According to a recent phylogenetic analysis Otocolobus is a sister group of both Felis and Prionailurus.
Fossil species are: