The Pampas cat gets its name from the Pampas (fertile South American lowlands). These felines can be found in central and western South America. They prefer cloud forests, cold, semi-arid areas of deserts, scrub thickets, open woodlands, floodplains, mountain slopes, and low-lying swamps. After extensive taxonomic evaluation, it was discovered that these cats might actually be 3 separate species: L. braccatus – Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, Lynchailurus pajeros – high Andes from Equador to Patagonia, and throughout Argentina, and L. colocolo – Chile. Due to hunting, trapping and primarily habitat loss these cats are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Leopardus pajeros
Weight: Up to 6.4 lbs.
Length: Up to 24 inches, including their up to 11 inch tail
Height: Up to 14 inches
Lifespan: Up to 15 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) The Pampas cat is nocturnal (active at night).
2.) These critters are primarily terrestrial (spend most or all of their lives on the ground). That being said, they can still climb trees with the best of them.
3.) Like many other cats, especially domestic cats, they will raise the fur on their back in an effort to look larger and more threatening, when they are scared or approached by a predator.
4.) A group of cats are called a clowder, clutter, destruction, or pounce.
5.) Pampas cats prey on guinea pigs, mice, rats, ground-dwelling birds, and they will also take poultry, when inhabiting regions near farmlands. This causes conflicts with humans and results in the trapping and killing of these cats.
But wait, there’s more on the Pampas cat!
6.) They are also called grass cats or gato pajero. Gato meaning cat, pajero meaning Pampas grass.
7.) Females birth up to 3 kittens after up to an 85 day gestation (pregnancy).
Did you know…?
These cats, like other nocturnal (active at night) cats, can see up to 6 times better than humans, in the dark.
8.) It is believed that Chile gave this species its name after Colocolo, a famous Araucanian warrior chief.
9.) These cats, like others, have a 280° field of view. This affords them excellent visual acuity for hunting.
10.) Pampas cats reach sexual maturity by the age of 21 months.
Now a Short Pampas Cat Video!
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