Quick tip for photographing animals, especially when you wish to capture their face: Don't use the flash.
Unless they've been conditioned to the flash in their face, most animals will instinctively shut their eyes, creating a squint-faced photograph, rather than the stunning one you had in mind.
Your best bet is to position the animal in plenty of natural light. If using studio lights, try to position the lights so that the lights are not shining directly in their faces, or in their peripheral vision. Animals, especially cats (both wild and domestic) are very sensitive to light and will squint or turn away from the source, ruining your picture.
If you absolutely must use a flash or a strobe, place a screen across the light to diffuse the initial burst of light. Bouncing the light off of the ceiling or a nearby wall can also work.