December 2018: Rusty-Spotted Cat

Scientific Name Prionailurus rubiginosus
Alternate Name Kitten (Young), Rusty Spotted Cat
Collective Name Litter (Young)
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Felidae Prionailurus
Asia Forest, Savanna, Shrubland, Grassland, Desert, Artifical/Terrestrial
1-2 kg. 2-3.74 lb.
35-48 cm. 13-20 in. 17-18 yr. 4 yr. (Generation)
Near Threatened Solitary Nocturnal
Decreasing Omnivore
Fore Hind
3 Subspecies
P. r. rubiginosus Indian, Mainland, Nepal
P. r. phillipsi Forest, Sri Lankan Lowland Wet-Zone
P. r. koladivius Sri Lankan Lowland Dry-Zone

The rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) is the smallest feline in the world at about half the size of a domestic cat. This feline can only be found in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, and mostly resides in dry, deciduous forests. With large eyes adapted to its nocturnal lifestyle, it hunts for small mammals, especially birds and rodents. Though mostly carnivorous, this feline is an opportunistic omnivore and will feast on fruits, grains, and vegetables, as well. Not much is known about the rusty-spotted cat and almost all information collected on this species has come from observation of captive individuals. This lack of knowledge may be harming the conservation efforts of the small cat as deforestation and habitat loss continue to threaten the species. The rusty-spotted cat is listed as “Near Threatened” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

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