Pallas’ Cat

Similar in size to a housecat, the Pallas’ cat is a predator specialized to live in the mountainous regions of central Asia. Its preferred prey is the pika, a small rabbit-like rodent. While not an adept runner, the Pallas’ cat is an expert ambush predator.


The ocelot requires habitat that supports a plentiful prey population and provides cover from which to hunt prey. Unfortunately, suitable habitat is disappearing and being divided into small patches. Mortality on roads that cut through habitat also poses a major threat to ocelots. Creating safe corridors between patches of habitat will be essential to a future in the wild for the ocelot.

Malayan Tiger

The Malayan tiger wears the characteristic striping pattern of black stripes on orange and white that provides excellent camouflage in the forest. Using its quiet stalking ability, a tiger will ambush large prey, often pouncing on it from the rear.

Learn more: The Zoo is committed to ensuring the survival of endangered tigers, of which there are fewer than 3,900 remaining in the wild.

Fishing Cat

As its name implies, the favored prey of the fishing cat is fish. While most cats are built for running with long legs and a long tail, the stocky fishing cat is built more for strong swimming with short, powerful limbs, and a rudder-like tail.


Historically, the cougar ranged throughout the Americas. In North America, the cougar still roams the western half of the continent and a small population survives in southern Florida. As a predator, the cougar plays an important role in controlling and maintaining healthy prey populations, especially of white-tailed deer.

Clouded Leopard

A powerful and robust build, short legs, large feet, and a long tail allow the clouded leopard to expertly navigate the forest canopy. It is able to climb down tree trunks headfirst, travel across horizontal branches while hanging beneath them, and hang from branches with its hind feet.



The cheetah plays an important role as a predator on the African savannah. The fastest animal on land, the cheetah can reach speeds up to 70 miles per hour over short distances. A sleek body, flexible backbone, long legs, non-retractable claws, and muscular tail assist the cheetah during high speed chases.

Learn more: The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is dedicated to saving the world’s fastest land animal.

Kroger Cheetah Encounter


The purpose of the caracal’s characteristic long black ear tufts is still debated. They may enhance facial expressions and are used as signals in communication. Another theory is that the ear tufts contribute to the caracal’s hearing ability. In any case, the caracal’s tufts are longer than on bobcat and lynx.

Black-footed Cat

One of the smallest wild cats, the black-footed cat rests during the day among the bushes or in a burrow abandoned by an aardvark or porcupine. It emerges at night to stealthily stalk its prey under the cover of darkness, flattening itself to the ground and taking advantage of any hiding places along the way.

Learn more: The black-footed cat is one of the five small cat species with which the Zoo’s Center for Conservation and…