The Central and South American wild cat family consists of nine small wild cat species with the recent splitting (2013) of the Oncilla (Tiger Cat) into two separate species. At this point we do not have enough information on either the Northern or Southern Tiger cat to write separate fact sheets, so we will keep the Oncilla fact sheet as one. The Cougar, or Puma as it is more usually known in South America, ranges from the Yukon in northern Canada to the southern tip of the South American continent.

Click on the names below the photos to read our South American cats fact sheets.

Small Cats of South America

Andean CatGeoffroy’s CatJaguarundi
OncillaPampas Cat

Big Cats of South America


See Also:

Photo Gallery – Cats of Argentina

Leopardus ID – Ocelot, Margay, Oncilla

9 Responses

  1. Paul Griffith

    Is there a smaller wildcat that can be seen north of Puerto Aisen in the Patagonian Coast Range? Otherwise this must have been a Puma kitten!

    • Pat Bumstead

      If you saw a small cat there it could easily have been a Pampas Cat. Their markings can resemble puma kittens but Pampas Cats are only about the size of a house cat. Check our Pampas Cat page for more info.

  2. Maxwell Brewster

    I recently caught a Leopardus Guttulus or Leopardus Weidii on video on my land in the Atlantic Rainforest in the mountains of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil, but I have been unable to identify which it is from the video. I wonder if anyone could help.

  3. patrice

    Had read as a child about what used to be named the true panther. It showed a wild cat, medium sized, its habitat in the Far East. Liked to hunt in water and had a special sweet tooth for fish. To the present I have not been able to find it in the internet. Might be extinct? 🙁

    • Pat Bumstead

      This sounds like a Fishing Cat, which is found throughout tropical Asia. You can read more about them on our website here

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