Felidae (ˈfɛlᵻdiː) is the family of mammals in the order Carnivora colloquially referred to as cats. A member of this family is also called a felid (ˈfiːlɪd). The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to the domestic cat (Felis catus).
The 41 Felidae species exhibit the most diversity in fur patterns of all terrestrial carnivores. Cats have retractile claws, slender muscular bodies and strong flexible forelimbs. Their teeth and facial muscles allow for a powerful bite. They are all obligate carnivores, and most are solitary predators ambushing or stalking their prey. Wild cats occur in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Some wild cat species are adapted to forest habitats, some to arid environments, and a few also to wetlands and mountainous terrain. Their activity patterns range from nocturnal and crepuscular to diurnal, depending on their preferred prey species.
Reginald Innes Pocock divided the extant Felidae into three subfamilies: the P