Whether you’re a cat person or a dog person, there’s no denying that cats are among some of the most majestic animals on the planet.
Despite how cuddly and adorable some cats may appear, they are all dangerous, accomplished killers. Even your domesticated kitty cat still shares all the same instincts and abilities as the most dangerous cats in the world.
Believe it or not, there are as many as 71 different cat breeds across the world, or more, depending on who you ask!
This isn’t even counting domesticated cats, which make up approximately 95% of all cat breeds worldwide. Today we will share with you the most dangerous of them all.
WBL’s top 5 fun facts about dangerous cats
- The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger, is the largest cat species in the world.
- The cheetah holds the title for being the fastest land animal, capable of reaching speeds up to 70 miles per hour in short bursts.
- The jaguar’s jaws are so strong that they can easily pierce the thick shells of armoured reptiles, such as turtles and caimans.
- Lions are the only social cats and live in packs called Prides. These majestic predators work together to hunt and defend their territory.
- The caracal, also known as the desert lynx, has incredible jumping abilities and can leap up to 10 feet vertically to catch birds in mid-flight.
10. Caracal − it has the best ears
First up is the African wild cat. This species of cat is easily distinguishable by its small face and long tuft ears.
It’s not the biggest cat on our list today, coming in at around 0.7 m (2.4 ft) length for a fully grown male. Due to its small size, you might think it’s safe to approach, but we wouldn’t advise it!
Caracals can weigh up to 42 lbs (19 kg) and can be very dangerous if approached by humans. We suggest admiring them from a distance if you happen to come across one!
Check out: 10 most dangerous African countries.
9. Bobcat − small but deadly
These wildcats, which are native to North America, are about twice the size of domestic shorthair cats.
Despite being fairly small in stature, they can leap over 3 m (9.8 ft) when pouncing on their prey. In terms of hunting, this certainly makes them one of the deadliest cats in the world.
Their prey is usually smaller animals such as rabbits, hares and chickens. They are not known for attacking humans, but as they weigh between 14-40 lbs (6 – 18 kg), you might want to stay clear of them!
8. Snow leopard − the shy one
Next, we present you with the snow leopard, which is as elusive as it is majestic. These beautiful creatures are native to Asia and can mostly be found roaming the Himalayan mountains.
Although snow leopards share many of the same traits as the African leopard, interestingly, they do not roar!
Its diet mostly consists of small mammals such as sheep, although they are more than capable of taking down bigger animals like deer.
Due to hunting and habitat loss, there are only between 4000 and 6400 snow leopards left in the wild. Despite this, there are currently no records of snow leopards attacking humans. We still wouldn’t take any chances, though!
7. Jaguar − more than just a luxury car
Relative to their size, jaguars have the strongest bite of all cats. We think this fact alone makes them one of the most dangerous cats in the world.
They’re often mistaken for leopards due to their markings. However, you will only find jaguars in the Americas. Mainly South American countries that share the rainforest, and as far south as Argentina.
Jaguars hunt all sorts of animals such as deer, monkeys and armadillos. Since they love the water, their diet also includes aquatic animals such as fish and tortoises.
Attacks on humans are very rare, and they will only usually attack if provoked. If they do attack, however, it’s likely to be a fatal encounter for the human!
6. Mountain lion − the one with many names
Weighing in at 220 lbs (100kg) and up to 8ft (2.4 m) long is the mountain lion. This is not a cat you would want to get into a fight with.
Also known as pumas and cougars, mountain lions are native to the Americas. You’re most likely to find them, however, in the western states of the USA.
Due to their size and power, they’re capable of taking down animals as big as elk! Just in case you don’t know, elk grow up to 4.9 ft (1.5 m) tall and can weigh up to an incredible 750 lbs (340 kg)!
If they’re capable of taking down animals as large as an elk, you can be sure they can take down a human! Luckily for us, though, human attacks are rare.
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5. Leopard − the spotted cat
Leopards are, without a doubt, one of the deadliest cats in the world. Their camouflage, speed and size, along with their ability to get within a few metres of their prey before pouncing, make them extremely successful hunters.
They’re unlikely to attack humans. However, that wasn’t the case for one such leopard in India nicknamed “The Devilish Panther”.
In the early 20th Century, “The Devilish Panther” terrorised citizens of central India. It reportedly killed over 150 people, all of which were women and children. This was an average of one person every 2-3 days. Keeping in theme, check out some of the most dangerous dogs in the world.
4. Cheetah − the fastest animal on the planet
As you most likely know, these beautiful creatures are the fastest of all cats. They can reach incredible speeds of over 60 mph (96kph). It is their speed that makes them one of the most formidable and dangerous creatures on the planet.
Native to Africa and central Iran, they mainly prey on bigger animals such as antelope, springbok and gazelles.
Despite being such a large and fierce predator, there are surprisingly no records of cheetahs killing people in the wild. Maybe they’re just very good at cleaning up after themselves?
3. Lion − the King
Next on our list is the ‘King of the Jungle’! Despite not actually living in a jungle, it can certainly be considered the King of cats.
Native to the savannas of Africa, lions are interestingly the only cats that live in packs called prides. Their prides can contain dozens of lions which will usually include just a few adult males.
The males protect the pride while it is the females who will do most of the hunting. While a lot of cats will not normally hunt humans, a lion most certainly will if it has the chance!
2. Tiger − the heavyweight
As expected, tigers are ranked near the top of our list today, and rightly so! They are the largest species of cat in the world, after all.
They can grow up to 3.9 m (12.7 ft) in length and weigh up to 680 lbs (308 kg)! There’s no denying that they are one of the most dangerous cats in the world.
Tigers will eat just about anything that moves, so look out! They eat small animals and big animals alike. Some of their biggest prey are moose and buffalo!
1. Black-footed cat − the deadliest of them all
Don’t be fooled by the size and cuteness of the black-footed cat. It’s the deadliest cat in the world!
At a staggering 25 cm in height, 40 cm in length and weighing approximately 4 lbs (1.8 kg), any small rodent or bird that crosses its path is in serious trouble!
All jokes aside (for now), the black-footed cat is actually considered the world’s deadliest cat.
The reason is it has a 60% success rate in hunting. Maybe this cat from South Africa should be considered the world’s most successful cat rather than the deadliest. You can decide.
These African wildcats are not at all dangerous to humans. They could give you a pretty good scratch, though, if you get too close!
Domesticated cat: We can’t forget about everyone’s favourite house cat! Domesticated cats are the smallest of the cat family, and technically despite their cute names, they are more deadly than a lion or tiger, with a 32% success rate at hunting.
Fishing Cat: Fishing cats, as the name suggests, mainly feed on aquatic animals. As they are also quite happy to chow down on any small mammal they come across, they get an honourable mention on our list of the world’s most dangerous cats.
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Your questions answered about the most dangerous cats in the world
In the section below, we’ve answered some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions, in addition to those that appear often in online searches on the topic.
How many tigers are left in the wild?
Today there are approximately 5000 tigers left in the wild and up to 8000 in captivity.
Is the black-footed cat critically endangered?
The black-footed cat is currently classified as vulnerable, which means its population is decreasing.
In which countries can the black-footed cat be found?
It can mainly be found in Botswana and Namibia.