The rusty-spotted cat shows tolerance for modified, human-populated, and agricultural areas away from forests because of the large rodent populations found there.
The rusty-spotted cat shows some tolerance for modified habitat and has been found in the midst of agricultural and settled areas. However, large stretches of irrigated agriculture could limit their distribution.
Within the last few years, a breeding group of rusty-spotted cats was found living in a human-inhabited agricultural area in West Maharashtra, India. In southern India, the species is being found in rafters of abandoned houses in areas a considerable distance away from forests. Rusty-spotted cats have also been observed close to and within villages and apparently on farmland throughout southern India’s Deccan Plateau and on the outskirts of Bangalore city.
This species, along with other small cat species in the oriental region, may be surviving in agricultural areas because of their high numbers and the availability of large rodent populations.
Sources: (Anwar, Kumar, & Vattakavan, 2010; Athreya, 2010; Cat Specialist Group; Dmoch, 1997; Gavali, Lakhmapurkar, & Vyas, 2008; Kumara & Singh, 2007; Miles, 2013; Patel, 2010; Pillay, 2008; Sunquist & Sunquist, 2002; Vyas, Lakhmapurkar, & Gavali, 2007)
Image: Cloudtail the Snow Leopard