Pretty much everyone loves dogs and cats, which is why you can find at least one of the two in most households.
They are so common, in fact, that upwards of 47 percent of Americans have dogs, and 37 percent have cats. By this point, you probably feel like you’ve seen them all, right?
Wrong. Take these beautiful dogs and cats, for example. They are some of the rarest and most endangered species in the world. They haven’t been domesticated or anything, but learning more about them can help us better understand what needs to be done to save these amazing creatures.
1. Rusty Spotted Cat
This is one of the smallest species of cats in the world, and it can only be found in India and Sri Lanka.
2. Pallas’s Cat
This Eastern European beauty is thought to be one of the oldest cat species in the world.
Loss of habitat in Central and South America contributes to the endangerment of these beautiful animals.
4. Chinese Mountain Cat
It is believed that there are fewer than 10,000 of these cats left.
5. Fishing Cat
You can find these endangered animals in South Asia, and they’re known for their superior fishing abilities.
6. Sand Cat
These desert-dwelling felines can be found in North Africa and South Asia. They have the highest bite force quotient of any cat in the world.
7. Black-Footed Cat
This is the smallest African cat. They are mostly nocturnal, and that could be why they’re rarely seen by humans.
8. Andean Mountain Cat
There only about 2,500 of them left, so spotting them in the wild is a rarity.
9. Bay Cat
Endangered because of habitat loss, these beautiful felines often fall victim to deforestation. They are native to the island of Borneo, and their population is estimated to be less than 2,500.
10. Flat-Headed Cat
These adorable critters hail from Borneo, Sumatra, and the Malay Penninsula. Their populations are also threatened.
Everyone knows that Africa is home to lions, but these African cats are uniquely beautiful.
Living in Chile and Argentina, these cats typically call rainforests home. There are fewer than 10,000 of them in the wild.
Found in Central and South America, these cats are heavily hunted for their fur, which has landed them on the endangered species list.
14. Pampas Cat
Pampas cats really haven’t been studied much by researchers, so very little is known about them. What scientists do know, however, is that their populations are also dangerously low.
15. Bush Dog
These Central and South American dogs are known for their swimming skills, which are made all the more impressive by their webbed feet.
16. Hoary Fox
These cuties are native to Brazil, and they mainly hunt rodents.
17. New Guinea Singing Dog
Hailing from Papua New Guinea, these adorable dogs are famous for their musical bark. Don’t you wish you could take one home?
18. Bat-Eared Fox
Native to the African Savanna, the bat-eared fox uses its ears to regulate body temperature and locate prey.
19. Raccoon Dog
They look like racoons, but these East Asian dogs aren’t related to them in any way.
20. Ethiopian Wolf
Part of the reason why these dogs are endangered is because of their picky eating habits. They only really eat afro-alpine rodents, which require very specific living conditions. It is considered Africa’s most endangered carnivore.
21. Darwin’s Fox
You can find this critically endangered canine in Chile. There are only about 300 left in the wild, making it one of the rarest animals on this list.
22. Island Fox
These can be found on the Channel Islands of California and there are many different subspecies of them. They are also believed to be some of the smallest foxes in North America.
These South American foxes are among the largest wild canines on the continent.
They’re not vocal, and instead, they communicate with body language.
25. Painted Dog
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to these dogs, which are some of the most social wild canines.
26. Crab-Eating Fox
Found in South America, crab-eating foxes love enjoying nice seafood dinners.
27. Short-Eared Amazon Dog
Many of these dogs live in the rainforests of Peru, and they’re particularly elusive. Only a few studies have been conducted to learn more about their lives.
28. Maned Wolf
Despite its name, this critter isn’t actually a wolf! It’s not a fox, either. In fact, it’s the only species in the genus Chrysocyon.
If we want to see these dogs and cats for years to come, we need to take better care of our planet. Many of them are endangered due to deforestation and habitat loss, so we need to be more responsible.