When you think of little cats, you probably picture the small domestic cats that people have as pets. However, there are dozens of kinds of little cats that live in the wild. These little cats vary widely in size, appearance, and behavior. The biggest of the little cats is the puma, which at 9 feet long (tail included) is anything but little. It can leap 30 feet in a single bound and can even jump 18 feet straight up in the air! Meanwhile, the smallest of the little cats, the rusty-spotted cat, is only two feet long and weighs just three pounds- only a quarter the weight of a housecat.

All wild cats are distantly related to the domestic cats we know and love today, but housecats probably descended from the African wildcat. These friendly animals were domesticated 12,000 years ago. The next time you see a pet cat, stop and think about its wild relatives and look for the traits it has in common with the little cats you read about in Zoobooks!