“Big cats” is a term given to members of the genus Panthera that are larger than a domestic cat. They stand out in the animal kingdom due to their similar advanced predatory behaviours and structure.
Here are top 10 largest big cats in the world.
10. Eurasian Lynx
At first glance, the Eurasian Lynx may look like a regular domestic cat but it is much bigger and wilder. The Eurasian Lynx is native to Western Europe, Siberia, Russia, and Central Asia. Being the smallest cats on this list, the Eurasian Lynx is, on average, 2 to 2.5 ft tall and may reach a length of 2.5 to 4 ft in length. Its weight may fall anywhere between 39 to 99 lb. They are indeed beautiful creatures but deadly.
9. Snow Leopard
The Snow Leopards are native to South and Central Asia and are considered a vulnerable species due to their relatively low population (under 10,000 adults). Quite hefty animals, they weigh anywhere between 77 to 121 lb but they are short in length reaching only 22 inch in height and 30 inch in length. They are known to live in high mountains where the temperature is cold.
Aside from its reputation of being the fastest land animal in the world, the cheetah is also a big cat, hence it makes this list. Native to Sub-Saharan Africa and Northern Iran, the Cheetah is also listed as a vulnerable species; there are just about 7000 mature Cheetahs left in the wild. When it comes to their size, they reach a shoulder height of about 28 to 35 inch and weigh 46 to a 159 lb. Cheetahs are excellent predators due to their high speed and ability to hunt in packs.
Like the Cheetah and Snow Leopard,Leopards are an endangered species but can still be found sparingly in Asia and in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Although they look like Cheetahs, they are bigger and known for their weird-looking appearance. Leopards weigh between 61 to 200 lb and reach a height of about 22 to 28 inch. Their tails are also also extremely long reaching a length of about 43 inch.
Cougars are known to be nocturnal predators but they are sometimes active during the day. Interestingly, they hold the Guiness World Record for the animal with the most names – mountain lion, cougar, panther, puma, painter, el leon, and catamount etc. Cougars stand at around 24 to 25 inch tall. In fact, adult male cougars may measure 7 to 8 ft from nose to tip of tail. They are also quite gigantic, weighing about 64 to 220 pounds. Yet, they are not the most gigantic cats! Let’s keep scrolling.
Jaguars are found only in regions of South and Central America. Although their population is not as low as some other big cats on this list, they are listed as “Near-Threatened” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Jaguars weigh about 120 to 350 lb, measure around 3.1 to 6.7 ft in length and 25 to 30 inch in height. They come in different colour variations including the Spotted Jaguar and Black Panther.
The most popular on this list! Adult male lions stand out among other big cats for their impressive manes and their struggle for supremacy. While male lions weigh between 330 to 550 lb, females weigh between 260 to 400 lb. They are found in Sub-Saharan Africa but they are considered a vulnerable species due to their declining population. They measure from anywhere between 4 to 9 ft in length.
3. Bengal Tiger
In 2011, they were estimated at less than 2500 individuals left in the wild.They reach lengths 8 to 10 ft and weigh a whopping 220 to 569 lb. They are one of the most beautiful big cats.
2. Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tigers are the largest naturally occurring big cats in the world. They are found in Northeastern China, Korea, Russia, parts of India and around the Himalayas. These gigantic tigers weigh between 220 to 700 lb and reach lengths of 66 to inch. Due to their incredibly large size, they are voracious eaters and make excellent predators.
The Liger is a hybrid developed as a result of breeding a male lion to a female tigress through artificial insemination (not natural). It can reach an outstanding length of 9.8 to 11.8 ft and weigh anywhere around 795 lb. The US is home to about 40 Ligers and China has about 20 to 25 Ligers. They are a cause for controversy as many countries oppose the crossbreeding between lions and tigers.