Felis is a genus of cats in the family Felidae, including the familiar domestic cat and its closest wild relatives. The wild species are distributed widely across Europe, southern and central Asia, and Africa; the domestic cat has been introduced worldwide.
Members of the genus Felis are all small felines, with a more or less close resemblance to the domestic cat. The smallest species is the sand cat, which may be less than 40 cm (16 in) in length, while the largest is the jungle cat, which can reach 94 cm (37 in). They inhabit a range of different habitats, from swampland to desert, and generally feed on small rodents, supplementing their diets with birds and other small animals, depending on their local environment.
Genetic studies indicate the genus Felis first evolved around eight to 10 million years ago, probably in the Mediterranean region.