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7 Animals like Lions (With Pictures)

Lions are known to be the ferocious and mystic King of the Jungle, though they live in the savannas of Africa. The lion has always been a symbol of strength and power. Despite being one of the apex predators, the plight of lions is far from being secure with human intervention and environmental changes. This article will delve into this specific species and learn about other animals like lions

7 Animals Like Lions

In the wild, there are two recognized lion subspecies; The African lion (Panthera leo leo), found in Africa, and the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica), a small population that exists around Gir Forest National Park in Western India.

The Felidae class is composed of 36 species. These cats are found all around the world except in Australia and Antarctica. From domesticated cats to the ferocious lion, this family is built for hunting, stalking, chasing, and pouncing on their prey.

Below is a list of animals like lions, meaning they share various characteristics with the lion. Note that these animals may be different physically from a lion, but there is a resemblance in their hunting style, features, diet, and more.

1. Jaguar

Jaguar | Image by Ian Lindsay from Pixabay

Scientific name: Panthera onca

Though they may not look like each other, the Jaguar is one of the closest living relatives of lions, next to tigers and leopards. Jaguars and Lions share the same extinct ancestors, the American Lion (Panthera atrox) and Cave Lion (Panthera fossilis).

Both lions and jaguars are predatory animals. They have a keen sense of hunting. Jaguars have a powerful sense of smell and excellent night vision, perfect for hunting their prey.

Jaguars have brownish-yellow fur with dark rosettes. Often confused as leopards, you can distinguish a jaguar with its stockier body, shorter limbs, more giant paws, and additional marks in the center of its rosettes.

2. Cougar

Cougar at the wildlife heritage
Cougar at the wildlife heritage | image by Marie Hale via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Puma concolor

Mountain lions are often known as cougars, pumas, or panthers. This large cat species is native to America and is more extensive and tan-colored. Their body is covered with tawny-beige fur except for the belly and chest area since it is covered with whitish-gray.

They are called mountain lions because settlers from Spain arrived in North America. They called the cougars “gato monte,”  which means “cat of the mountain,” and the lion.

They used these terms to describe the appearance of the cougar-resembling a female African lion. However, it has a more petite body and habitat.

3. Chow Chow

Chow chow in the park
Chow chow in the park | image by Seongbin Im via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris

Chow Chow is a well-known lion-looking dog in the world of domesticated animals. They may not even be a feline, but this dog breed certainly has a lion-like appearance.

Chow Chow originates from ancient China, and they are compactly built, robust, and can stand 20 inches at the shoulder. Despite being a furball, Chow Chow are clean dogs with a healthy appearance and toned hips and thighs.

This physical feature reflects their long history of herding, hunting, and guard dogs. The Chow Chow is charmed with their deep-set almond-shaped eyes and scowling expression giving them a lion-like image.

4. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff in a dog show
Tibetan Mastiff in a dog show | image by Andrea Arden via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Canis lupus familiaris

Another canine species that resembles the lion’s appearance is the Tibetan Mastiff. This dog breed came from China and is known to be an ancient domesticated dog.

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Tibetan mastiffs are large, robust, solid mountain dogs, and they are used as guard dogs to protect livestock against any predator. Quite ferocious like lions!

This lion-like dog breed has a beautiful coat and mane. It’s like a Chow Chow but on a bigger version. Tibetan Mastiffs are actually referred to as the “lion dog” because of their muscular bodies, strong jaws, dense lion-like mane, and tight cat-like feet. However they may seem intimidating, this dog breed is protective, an excellent guard dog, and a devoted family pet.

5. Domestic cat

Domestic Cat sits on a couch
Domestic Cat sits on a couch | image by James St. John via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Felis catus

Domestic or House Cat is one of the animals that are like lions. Coming from both the cat class families, a lion is considered a type of cat. Though they may be physically different, cats don’t roar, and lions don’t purr. They are alike when it comes to other features.

Biologically speaking, a lion’s skeleton and internal organs is an advanced cat. Cats have small fangs like lions, hunting their prey murderously.

Regarding personality, cats are intelligent, calm, clean, and mischievous. Both lions and cats have retractable claws, only that the lion is bigger than your house cats!

6. Sunda clouded leopard

Sunda Clouded Leopard at rest
Sunda Clouded Leopard at rest | image by Spencer Wright via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0

Scientific name: Neofelis diardi

The Sunda clouded leopard is a medium-sized wild cat inhabiting the dense forests of Sumatra, Borneo, and other animals like lions. It also belongs to the seven big cats of the Felidae class, and they are endangered and threatened by habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and poaching.

The lion and Sunda clouded leopard are cousins, but it has prominent darker fur and more minor cloud markings around its body. It belongs to the same genus Panthera which includes lions, tigers, jaguars, and puma.

The Sunda clouded leopard has a stock build larger than a small cat species and more petite than large cat species. They also roar (a little low), soft chuffle, hiss, and growl like lions as part of their calls. It has gray-yellow fur and weighs an average of 26-27 pounds, and its tail can grow as long as its body.

7. Lynx

Lynx hiding on a log
Lynx hiding on a log | image by Mathias Appel via Flickr

Scientific name: genus Lynx

Lynx are wildcats related to lions and other members of the Felidae family. There are four species of Lynx, including the well-known and rarely seen bobcat. Like lions, lynx have unique physiological characteristics that make them good ground hunters, especially in the snow.

Lynx have long legs, large paws, tuft ears, broad and short heads, and hairy soles. Their coats, which form a bushy ruff around their neck, are tawny to cream color.

This fur is somewhat mottled with a brown and black hue. The lynx’s tail and ear tips are also black, with sharp and retractable claws like lions.