Rusty-Spotted Cat

Rusty-Spotted Cat

The mating system of rusty-spotted cats hasn’t been explicitly studied; their closest relatives, leopard cats, suggest they may be polygynous, but zoo observations suggest monogamy.

Very little is known about the rusty-spotted cat’s reproduction and all the information comes from captive individuals.

Though the mating system of rusty-spotted cats has not been explicitly studied, data available from their close relatives, leopard cats, suggests that this species may be polygynous. One male leopard cat’s territory overlaps with several female territories, but territories of two females or two males never overlap. A territorial male can mate with all females within his territory.

However, in zoos, rusty-spotted cat males have been allowed to stay with females after mating and after the birth of kittens. The West Berlin Zoo recorded a male protecting young from zoo keepers and bringing meat to the kittens. These behaviors suggest their mating system may be monogamous.

Image | © Alma Leaper, Lead Photographer – The Big Cat Sanctuary, All Rights Reserved
Sources | (Cat Specialist Group; Miles, 2013; Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)

Learn More About the Rusty-Spotted Cat


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