5 Beautiful Big Cats Striking a Pose

Lights, camera, cats! Of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, the furry, fierce, and breathtaking beast is sure to make heads turn. The five classes of wild cat know how to work their angles and could conquer any catwalk. Learn more about the brains behind the beauty below!

1. Tiger

BANDHAVGARH, INDIA: A remote and protected wilderness, Bandhavgarh, lies deep in the heart of ancient India. Tigers battle for dominance among the ruins of a lost empire. (Photo credit: © National Geographic Channels)

The tiger is the largest member of the big cat family. They have an undeniable presence thanks to their giant size—they can be as big as 11 feet tall and weigh up to 660 pounds. Mighty and magnificent, tigers rule the land with speed that can reach up to 40 mph. But these creatures aren’t afraid to get wet and are actually very strong swimmers.

2. Lion

Serengeti/Massai Mara - Male lions not only kill cheetah cubs they also kill young of their own kind so that they can mate with the mother.

This king of the jungle earns its name by its bold beauty and strength. They are also the only social creatures that make up the cat family, as lions live in large groups known as “prides,” that can consist of about 15 lions. But this creature is no prissy cat. The lion is one of the fiercest predators known to man with the females doing most of the hunting, working in teams to stalk and ambush prey.

3. Jaguar

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Jaguars are the largest cats that rule South America. While they could be confused with leopards – jaguars display a unique coat covered with rose-like spots called rosettes. They also have forceful jaws that are strong enough to puncture a skull.

4. Leopard

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Look up and you may spot a leopard. Well only if you’re in sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia, India, or China. The leopard seeks great heights, spending much of its day in trees where it can stalk prey and enjoy a recent kill far above any disruptions.

5. Snow Leopard

Snow leopard

The beautiful gray snow leopard is a rare sight to see. They primarily live in mountains across Central Asia, where their fur-covered feet act like natural snowshoes. Snow leopards are known for their powerful legs  that make them incredible leapers—they can jump up to 50 feet!

For more even more Big Cat action, watch Big Cat Week all week on Nat Geo Wild.