Touted as one of the smallest cat species in the world, it’s the rusty-spotted cat. These cats can be found in India and Sri Lanka. The Indian subspecies of rusty-spotted cats prefer grasslands and the Sri Lankan subspecies likes mountain forests and scrublands. Due to habitat loss, hunting for their meat, and interbreeding with domestic cats, there are now only 10,000 known spotted cats left in the wild. They are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN and their population is sadly decreasing.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Prionailurus rubiginosus
Weight: Up to 3.5 lbs.
Length: Up to 16 inches, plus a 12 inch tail
Lifespan: Up to 18 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Rusty-spotted cats are nocturnal (active at night) by nature.
2.) They prey on rodents, birds, frogs, lizards, and insects.
3.) Their main predators are larger cats, domestic dogs, and humans.
4.) Some instances of these cats living in or near plantations has been recorded and is the reason that some are killed, as they have been known to take chickens.; so they’re considered a pest.
5.) They are solitary and mark their territory with urine, like many other cats.
But wait, there’s more on the rusty-spotted cat!
6.) Rusty-spotted cats have both an arboreal (spend their lives in trees) and a terrestrial (spend their lives on the ground) lifestyle.
7.) Mating lasts from 1 – 11 days! Busy kitties.
Did you know…?
These cats have been known to perch on branches and drop on top of their prey, ambushing their victim.
8.) Females birth 1 – 3 kittens each brood and they breed all year long.
Now a Short Rusty-Spotted Cat Video!
Also, check out the Critter Science YouTube channel. Videos added frequently!
Want to suggest a critter for me to write about? Let me know here.