Suricata suricatta was first described by Schreber in 1776.
Meerkats belong to the Feliformia, a sub-order of the Carnivora, which broadly includes:
Within the Feliformia they are further grouped in the family Herpestidae with other mongooses, where their close relatives number around 30 and include the following mongoose species:
Meerkats are carnivores, though sometimes people mistake them for rodents because of their size. A simple way to tell the difference is to look at their pronounced canine teeth - these allow them to have a carnivorous diet and lifestyle, in contrast to the pronounced incisors of rodents.