Felines in general are very tidy creatures with strong self-grooming habits. They also have retractable claws, sleek bodies, and are carnivorous. Their grace and agility is usually a sight to see as well. It could be the sleek body and grace that is attractive to so many furs.
There are thirty six recognized extant species of Felidae. Traditionally, all except the cheetah were placed in subfamily Felinae. The largest of them is the tiger. The four major wild cats (classified as such owing to their ability to roar) which make up the genus panthera, are tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard - in order of decreasing physical size. At times Cheetahs and Cougars are included in big cats, though strictly speaking they have a different physical structure, with the cougar being more like a small cat and the cheetah different enough to be in its own subfamily, Acinonynae. More recently, many taxonomists include the cheetah under Felinae, and/or place the pantherines in a separate subfamily, Pantherinae, which includes the genus panthera plus the snow leopard (genus uncia) and two species of clouded leopard (genus neofelis).
Among the more notable extinct species of Felidae, there is the North American or cave lion, of the genus panthera and possibly larger than any currently living feline; at least two additional species in Acinonyx, the cheetah genus; and the entire subfamilies Machairodontinae, which includes the smilodon, commonly referred to as the saber-toothed cat, and Proailurinae, which includes the Proailurus.
Some reputed attributes of felines are the disposition to sleep, be lazy, and think they are king (or queen) of the castle. These are not always true; felines can be very affectionate as well, and often make the best companions for lonely people. They also seem to know when their owners are not feeling well, which adds more charm to their already warm appeal. Although feline furries may differ from stereotypical cat traits, many display friendliness and an affectionate nature, particularly for familiar people.
- Eek! The Cat
- Tom from Tom and Jerry
- Both main characters from SWAT Kats.
- Simba and his pride from The Lion King
- Tigger from Winnie the Pooh