What is a Leopard Cat?
The leopard cat looks like a miniature, long-legged and more slender version of a leopard. It has a round head, a short narrow muzzle and big rounded ears. Its fur varies highly in colour and markings according to the region. In the tropics, its fur is ochre or yellowish-brown with white underparts, while in the northern part of the species’ range, leopard cats have greyish brown thick fur and are also larger and heavier than the ones in the south. The size and shape of the black markings covering the body and limbs are also highly variable; the spots sometimes form lines along the neck and back. Often there is one stripe running along the length of the body. The tail is about half as long as the body, spotted and sometimes bears a few rings near the black tip. The ears have black backs with a white central spot and the face is marked with two dark stripes on the forehead. The cat has two narrow black cheek stripes enclosing a white spot. The irises are deep, golden brown to grey. Males are larger than females.
Species: P. bengalensis
Where are they from?
Based on genetic studies two subspecies of the Mainland leopard cat are tentatively recognized:
• Prionailurus bengalensis bengalensis in South Asia from Pakistan to China and probably the Malay Peninsula and
• Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus in Manchuria, Russian Far East, Taiwan, Iriomote Island and Tsushima Island.
Are they endangered?
The leopard cat is included on CITES Appendix II, and leopard cat populations in Bangladesh, India and Thailand are included in Appendix I (as Prionailurus bengalensis bengalensis). The leopard cat is protected across part of its range. Hunting is prohibited in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Thailand and Taiwan. Hunting and trade are regulated in South Korea, Lao PDR and Singapore. There is no legal protection outside protected areas in Bhutan, Brunei, China, and Vietnam. The leopard cat is on the protected species list of 2009 in Afghanistan and all hunting and trade is prohibited within the country. There is no information for North Korea. It is found in numerous protected areas.
United States of America has this species listed as "Endangered".
The Leopard Cat Project
Researchers and Genetists specializing in wild felids will conduct a Genetic and DNA Genome study on the USA captive Leopard Cat species. This study will be ongoing as the data will be generated from the samples that are collected.
To learn more details about this project please reach out to us!
Other Cat Species We Work With
The fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia. Since 2016, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Fishing cat populations are threatened by destruction of wetlands and have declined severely over the last decade. The fishing cat lives foremost in the vicinity of wetlands, along rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, in swamps, and mangroves.
The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is a medium-sized spotted wild cat that reaches 40–50 cm (15.7–19.7 in) at the shoulders and weighs between
7 and 15.5 kg (15.4 and 34.2 lb) on average. It is native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean islands of Trinidad
The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is a medium-sized wild cat widely distributed from Northern, Central and Eastern Europe to Central Asia and Siberia, the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas. It inhabits temperate and boreal forests up to an elevation of 5,500 m (18,000 ft). Despite its wide distribution, it is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and depletion of prey.
The Siberian lynx (Lynx lynx wrangeli), also known as the East Siberian lynx, is a subspecies of Eurasian lynx living in the Russian Far East. It lives in the Stanovoy Range and east of the Yenisei River. There were 5,890 mature individuals in the Russian Far East as of 2013. Prey include the Siberian roe deer. The Siberian lynx is the second most common subspecies of the
The Carpathian lynx (Lynx lynx carpathicus) is a subspecies of the Eurasian lynx found in the Carpathian Basin of Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine and Bulgaria. They are quite large compared to other cat species. They have lengthy legs, large paws, bob tails, cheek hair forming a facial ruff, and tall ears with noticeable black tufts. Their thick fur protects them from cold during winters.
The serval (Leptailurus serval) is a wild cat native to Africa. It is widespread in sub-Saharan countries, except rainforest regions. Across its range, it occurs in protected areas, and hunting it is either prohibited or regulated in range countries.
It is the sole member of the genus Leptailurus. The serval has the longest legs of any cat relative to its body size
The caracal (Caracal caracal) is a medium-sized wild cat native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and arid areas of Pakistan and northwestern India. It is characterized by a robust build, long legs, a short face, long tufted ears, and long canine teeth. Its coat is uniformly reddish tan or sandy, while the ventral parts are lighter with small reddish markings.
The bobcat (Lynx rufus), also known as the red lynx, is a medium-sized cat native to North America. It ranges from southern Canada through most of the contiguous United States to Oaxaca in Mexico. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2002, due to its wide distribution and large population.
The Pallas's cat (Otocolobus manul), is a small wild cat with long and dense light grey fur, and rounded ears set low on the sides of the head. The Pallas's cat was first described in 1776 by Peter Simon Pallas, who observed it in the vicinity of Lake Baikal.
Geoffroy's cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) is a small wild cat native to the southern and central regions of South America. It is about the size of a domestic cat. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List because it is widespread and abundant over most of its range.
Geoffroy's cat is named after the 19th century French zoologist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
The cougar (Puma concolor) also known as the puma, mountain lion, catamount and panther, is a large cat native to the Americas. Its range spans from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes in South America. It is the most widely distributed large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere.