Genetically close to servals, this genus is considered monotypic with African golden cat in another genus (Profelis)

These medium-sized cats are native to Africa, the Middle East, and some arid areas of Pakistan and India. They are characterized by a robust body build, long legs, and long canine teeth and are reddish tan or sandy in color to help them camouflage.

Typically, they are nocturnal and highly secretive animals. It is probably because of this underground lifestyle that they still exist in stable populations and have not been affected by human activity as much. But some threats still exist and are on the rise, including killings of caracal by local people to protect livestock and its hunting for the pet trade on the illegal markets of Asia and Arab.