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The Felinae is a subfamily of the Felidae. It includes small cats and a few medium-large cats, especially the Cougar (Puma concolor) and the Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus).

Genetic classification

There is now a precise classification for the living members of the subfamily based on genetic research.[1][2][3] These genetic lineages have been identified:[4]


  1. Wozencraft W.C. 2005. Order Carnivora. In Wilson, Don E. & Reeder, DeeAnn M. eds. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. 3rd ed, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 2 vols, 532–548 ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0
  2. Johnson W.E; Eizirik E; Pecon-Slattery J. et al. (2006). "The late Miocene radiation of modern Felidae: a genetic assessment". Science 311 (5757): 73–7. doi:10.1126/science.1122277 . PMID 16400146 .
  3. O'Brien SJ, Johnson WE (2005). "Big cat genomics". Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet 6 (1): 407–29. doi:10.1146/annurev.genom.6.080604.162151 . PMID 16124868 .
  4. Johnson W.E.; & O'Brien S.J. 1997. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the Felidae using 16S rRNA and NADH-5 mitochondrial genes. J Mol Evol 44: S98-116. Retrieved on 2009-11-08 from
  5. "Often overlooked, small wild cats are important and in trouble". Mongabay.