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Exposition Félins © MNHN 2023 - - Denja1 - 1001slide - Werner P. Klein
Exposition Félins © MNHN 2023 - - Denja1 - 1001slide - Werner P. Klein



From 22 March 2023 to 7 January 2024

Felines are exceptional predators, mammals that are equally feared and admired... They are one of the most frequently depicted animal families, but do you really know them? Be prepared for a few surprises when you discover the 38 species of feline that populate the planet.

Opening times

Open today

Open every day

except Tuesdays, 1 May, 25 December and 1 January

From 10 am to 6 pm

Target public

All audiences

Getting here

Grande Galerie de l’Évolution (Gallery of Evolution)

36 rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
75005 Paris


From €10 to €13

The exhibition

Felines are one of the families of mammals most frequently depicted in books and films, as well as one of the most feared and loved. Do you think you know all about cats? You’ll be astonished by these animals’ fascinating characteristics!

There are 38 feline species on Earth. Apart from the domestic cat, the best known are the big cats such as lions, tigers and panthers. Yet there is a huge diversity of feline species, including the more “discreet” and often smaller species, such as the fishing cat, the flat-headed cat and the kodkod.

Felines, vulnerable predators

When you think of cats, you think of hunting and prey. The exhibition takes another look at the exceptional qualities of these predators, with their highly developed senses of hearing, sight and touch, their powerful jaws and claws, their speed and agility.

But these attributes don’t mean that these mammals are any less vulnerable. Find out about the host of dangers threatening the sometimes difficult lives of cats, including unsuccessful hunts, high levels of infant mortality, road accidents and of course illegal trading and trafficking.

As well as felines, the Parc Zoologique de Paris (Paris Zoological Park), another of the Museum’s flagship sites, plays host throughout the year to many different species of predators such as birds, insects, small mammals, snakes, lizards, etc.

An exceptional programming in spring 2023 shines a light on these misunderstood predators. It’s the opportunity to show that the predator may not necessarily be the one you are thinking of.

Felines and humans

The relationship between humans and felines is manifested in many cultures around the world and in all periods of time.

Explore these complex relationships through cultural and symbolic objects from the collections of the Museum, the Louvre, the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, the Musée de l'Armée and the Musée Guimet.

Wild feline, domestic feline

Once captured by the mighty to demonstrate their superiority, captive wild cats remain in vogue today, especially on social networks.

Trafficking and illegal trade are the consequences of these practices. Humans have long sought to domesticate felines. Trace back the earliest evidence of cat domestication to the burial of a young man and a cat, buried opposite him, 9,000 years ago in Cyprus, long before the familiar representations from Egypt.

The iconic domestic cat

Cats, the only domesticated felines, fascinate humans.

Long disliked, the cat was rehabilitated in France from the 19th century onwards by intellectuals and artists. Nowadays, they are one of the most popular and frequent animals in our homes.

Discover the ambivalent relationship between humans and cats over time, as well as the real or imagined threats that this animal poses to other species.


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