are cats related to lions

The cuddly domesticated house cats we love so much today are in fact descendants of lions and tigers, who are successors of early carnivores known as miacids. From here modern wild cats evolved into three key species – the European wild cat, the African wild cat and the Asiatic desert cat.

Despite a massive disparity in terms of size, location, and lifestyle, big cats and domestic cats are not as different as you might think. While you wouldn’t want to be trapped in the same room as a big cat, these giant predators have quite a lot in common with your small and seemingly harmless pet feline. Domesticated cats are believed to have descended from an ancient type of wildcat in Egypt and are said to be more closely related to the puma or lynx than the lion or tiger. Read on to learn more about the fascinating similarities between big cats and our cuddly domesticated friends.

Even though your pet is a member of the family, he still adds a wild element to your house. Nevertheless, your house cat is tiny, generally safe, and very cute!

Discover the evolution of the domesticated cat.

All cats are members of the Felidae family of animals, which also includes lions, tigers, and our own domestic cats.

From their earliest evolutionary stages 25 million years ago, these animals have developed into the most advanced carnivorous hunters among all mammals.

Panthera is the oldest cat lineage, having split from its common ancestor 10 8 million years ago. This is the lineage from which our contemporary big cats, including lions (Panthera leo), panthers (Panthera pardus), and tigers (Panthera tigris), have descended. Since tigers were among the first animals to evolve, they have spread out and adapted to the majority of environments on Earth, from the 40°C swamps of the Sundarbans to the -40°C nights of Siberia.

Until three, the Felidae family kept evolving and splitting off into distinct common ancestors. 4 million years ago when the Felis genus appeared. The wildcat (Felis silvestis), jungle cat (Felis chaus), and domestic cats (Felis catus) are all members of this group.

The African wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, is most closely related to our moggies. Their genetic makeup is nearly identical and they share some behaviors, like hunting and the need for solitude, despite having recently split into different species. Because of their close kinship with the Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia), our cats are able to interbreed and give birth to healthy progeny.

While about ten thousand years ago, tigers and domestic cats had a common ancestor 8 million years ago they in fact share 95. Six percent of their DNA! Still, that’s not where the similarities end!


Are cats descended from lions?

Did Cats Evolve From Lions? No, that’s a myth. All domesticated cats originated from the same ancient kitty, Felis silvestris lybica (or, African Wildcat) which is still found throughout Africa, southwest and central Asia, India, China, and Mongolia.

How alike are cats and lions?

The domestic cat and the lion are similar in many other ways – indeed, the obvious discrepancy in size is the only major difference between them. Both can live in groups and raise their young co-operatively. Both are ambush hunters, and share the same dietary peculiarities (of which more later).

How much DNA does a cat share with a lion?

Are cats closer to tigers or lions? They are equally related to lions and tigers since the two species are genetically very closed. Lions and tigers shares 95.6 percent of DNA with the domestic cat, from which they diverged about 10.8 million years ago.

Are cats a type of lion?

Cats are the colloquially named animals that belong to the family of Felidae. Members of this family are called felid or feline. The Felidae can be further categorized into Pantherine, which include the majority of big cats such as Tigers, Lions, Jaguar and so on.