Felinekin is a subcategory of Otherkin wherein an individual identifies as or with felines, or members of the feline/cat family. Though technically only species in the Felinae subfamily are felines, cats in the Pantherinae subfamily are also commonly called felines. For the sake of simplicity, both are commonly accepted as felinekin. Identifying as a feline could include, but not be limited to, spiritually believing you have the soul of a feline or were reincarnated into a feline in a past life, identifying as a feline to cope with mental illnesses, or believing you aren't inherently human. Felinekin may feel supernumerary phantom limbs relating to their kintype, such as the feeling of a "phantom" or "astral" muzzle, paws, ears, tail, or other body parts felines may have.
Felinekin may find comfort in activities or behavior that felines take part in. Felines vary greatly in appearance, size, abilities, and social structures, though most felines are solitary and are nocturnal or crepuscular. A lionkin may feel more comfortable surrounded by close friends, as lions are very social cats and live in prides, whereas a tigerkin might be more introverted and less inclined to interact with large groups when they are mentally shifted.
Felines are carnivores with retractable claws, powerful bites, sharp teeth, and rasped tongues. Most are stalking/ambush predators and can be nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular. All felines are digitigrade, meaning they walk on their toes, sensitive whiskers, large ears, and the ability to purr. Not all felines can meow; big cats, those in the Pantherinae subfamily, lack the ability to meow and instead are able to roar.
Types of Felines
There are many species in the family Felidae that are considered felines, but they are commonly separated between "big" cats and "small" cats
Pantherinae includes clouded leopards, Sunda clouded leopards, snow leopards, tigers, jaguars, leopards, and lions. These are commonly known as the big cats. They cannot meow, but they can roar. Note that there are many extinct big cats, including cave lions and sabre toothed cats, so if you feel a connection with Pantherinae but do not feel exactly like a lion, tiger, or other big cat, you may want to consider looking into extinct members of this family. The Pantherinae family is diverse in behavior, appearance, and habitat, so what comforts one pantherakin may not soothe another
Neofelis is the clouded leopard group. Both species of clouded leopards are grey with blotchy spots. Mainland clouded leopards live in the Himalayan foothills, whereas Sunda clouded leopards live in the Sunda Islands, which includes Borneo and Sumatra. Mainland clouded leopards are solitary, nocturnal, and are excellent climbers. Not much is known about the Sunda clouded leopard, but it is assumed to be solitary as well.
Panthera includes the traditional "big cats" such as tigers and lions, as well as extinct members such as sabre toothed cats and cave lions. Snow leopards are one of the smallest in the group; they are grey with rosetted spots. Snow leopards live in snowy regions of Siberia, Central Asia, and the Himalayas. Snow leopards are crepuscular and solitary, but do share overlapping territory. Tigers are the largest felids, most recognized by their usually orange coats and black stripes with a contrasting white stomach. Occasionally they are white with or without stripes or are light orange with dark orange stripes. Tigers are solitary and territorial and different subspecies live all over Central and Southern Asia. Tigers are mostly diurnal. It is not uncommon to see tigers swimming in bodies of water. Jaguars are the only living Panthera member native to the Americas and range from the Southern United States and Mexico to Argentina in South America. They are golden tan with lighter stomachs and rosetted spots. It resembles the leopard, but is stronger and larger. Jaguars inhabit swamplands, forests, and wooded areas. Jaguars are solitary apex predators and are crepuscular. Leopards are native to Sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia, India, and Southeast Asia and resemble jaguars, but are smaller with different rosettes. Leopards are also golden-tan with rosettes and lighter stomachs. In Africa, leopards are commonly diurnal but elsewhere they are nocturnal. Both solid black jaguars and leopards are called black panthers. Lions are the second largest cats in Panthera, with tan bodies and strong sexual dimorphism. Occasionally a white lion is born, but white lions are not usually albino. Female lions are uniformly tan and short-furred, whereas males have large dark manes and tufted tails, though some females have grown manes and some males have naturally short manes and appear maneless. Lions live in prides with a single male and his mates and cubs, and the females do most of the hunting for the pride. They are usually diurnal.
Felinae are the small cats, the true felines. Felinae includes many more genera and species than Pantherinae, so narrowing a kin down from here may be difficult. Remember that it's okay to take longer than others to narrow down kintypes, especially in diverse categories such as this.
Members of Felinae can purr and meow but not roar. Like Panthera, they are diverse in behavior, appearance, and habitat, so felinekin from this family may have widely different comforts relating to their kintype.
Bay Cat Lineage
The bay cat lineage is the earliest diverging feline lineage and includes the marbled cat, the bay cat, and the Asian golden cat. It is debated whether the marbled cat, the only member of the Pardofelis genus, should be classified in the Catopuma genus with the other two, but for now it is accepted that the two genera are synonymous. All three species are from Southeast Asia. The Asian golden cat is the largest, about twice the size of a housecat. The bay cat is a bit smaller than the Asian golden cat, and the marbled cat is about the size of a housecat. The bay cat is a reddish brown with some stripes on its face. The Asian golden cat is a lighter reddish brown with a tan chest and some spotting on the chest, with facial stripes similar to a tabby cat. The marbled cat is similar to an ocelot with broad marbled stripes. They tend to be solitary and territorial, and all three have are active at night with the Asian golden cat and marbled cat both also being active during twilight and the Asian golden cat being diurnal as well.
The second oldest small cat divergence, the Caracal lineage includes two genera; Leptailurus, the serval genus, and Caracal, the caracal genus. Servals are the only members of their genus; they are slender cats with the longest legs of any cat species relative to body size, large ears, a tan coat with circular spots and a striped back, and a short tail with a black tip. Servals are solitary, and are active both at night and during the day. Servals inhabit wetlands and savannahs with preference for easy access to water. Caracal has 2 species in its genus; the eponymous caracal and the African golden cat. Caracals are robustly built, with long canines and long tufts of black fur on the tips of their ears, similar to a lynx. Caracals are uniformly reddish tan colored with some lighter fur around their facial features and darker fur around their eyes and nose. Caracals have short tails, around a third the length of the body. Caracals are usually nocturnal. In ancient Egypt, caracals were tamed and used for hunting. The African golden cat is usually reddish brown or grey with a lighter stomach that is covered in dark spots. African golden cats may be more nocturnal usually. African golden cats can climb, but often hunt on the ground.
The Leopardus genus, or the Ocelot lineage, contains small spotted cats mostly from middle to South America. It is the oldest small cat lineage in the Americas. There are several species in this genus, they are mostly nocturnal or crepuscular, and they are all around the size of a housecat. Leopardus includes the ocelot, margay, Andean mountain cat, Pampas cat, Geoffroy's cat, the kodkod, and the oncilla.
Felini is a tribe in the Felinae subfamily. It includes lynx, cheetahs, pumas, leopard cats, and the felis genus.
Lynx includes the bobcat and lynxes. All have short tails, long beard-like cheek fur, and tufted ears. Bobcats are North American cats that inhabit forests, semideserts, swamplands, forest edges, and urban edges. Bobcats are stocky with short tails, black tufted ears, and "bearded" cheeks, and are usually grey to tan with spots and thin stripes like a domestic tabby housecat. Bobcats are territorial and solitary. The Canadian lynx is native to Canada and Alaska, as well as down the Rocky Mountains into New Mexico. Canadian lynx are silvery brown with bearded cheeks and long tufts on their ears. They are mostly nocturnal, are great swimmers and climbers, and are solitary. Eurasian lynx are reddish brown with bearded cheeks and ear tufts with sparse black spots and stripes on its body. The Eurasian lynx ranges from Norway all across Russia to the Pacific Ocean in East Asia. They are solitary and nocturnal/crepuscular. The Iberian lynx is native to the Iberian Peninsula and is tawny with bearded cheeks that have a dark stripe in them. They have tufted ears and spotted bodies. Iberian lynx formerly lived in grasslands with shrubs and trees, but now live mostly in mountainous regions. Iberian lynx are solitary cats.
The puma lineage includes cheetahs, cougars, and jaguarundi. Cheetahs are the fastest land mammal; they are tall, lanky cats with tan fur and circular spots all over their body. Sometimes cheetahs have large, splotchy spots that combine into stripes; these cheetahs are known as king cheetahs. Cheetahs live in North, South, and East Africa, and in parts of Iran. Cheetahs are diurnal, and females are solitary while males will often group together in adolescence to hunt together. Cougars, also known as pumas mountain lions, or panthers. Cougars are large and tan cats that range from the Yukon in Canada to the Andes in South America. They are the largest cats in North America and are very territorial. They are mostly nocturnal but are sometimes active during the day, and they are solitary. The jaguarundi is a small cat native to South America and Southern North America. Jaguarundi have short legs, long bodies, and long tails with small round ears. Their coats are uniformly colored, ranging from blackish to brownish-grey and fox red to reddish brown. The red morph used to be known as the eyra. They are largely diurnal and solitary.
Leopard Cat Lineage
Like Leopardus, the Leopard Cat Lineage is mostly small spotted cats native to Asia. This lineage includes Pallas's cat, the rusty-spotted cat, the leopard cat, the fishing cat, and the flat-headed cat.
Felis is a genus of small/medium cats native to Africa, Europe, and Asia and includes the domestic cat. It also includes the jungle cat, black-footed cat, sand cat, Chinese mountain cat, African wildcat, and European wildcat.
Many Pantherinae and Felinae hybrids happen, though mostly this occurs in captivity. Caracals and servals make caravals or servicals. Bobcats and lynx make blynx or lynxcats. Bobcats and jungle cats make jungle lynx. European wildcats and jungle cats make Euro-chaus. Margay and ocelots make marlots. There are several breeds of domestic cat hybrids, including the bengal (crossed with Asian leopard cat), chausie (crossed with the jungle cat), and the savannah cat (crossed with serval). Panthera hybrids have very complex names depending on which parent was of what species. Some, like the liger (lion x tigress) are fertile and produce further offspring, but others are all stillborn or unproven theorized hybrids.