The 10 Small Wild Cat Species Found in Asia

          Asia has diverse flora and animals that occupy the continent's vast and varied regions. Although Asia's large cats, such as the lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah, and snow leopard, are well-known, the continent also has 10 lesser cat species with distinct looks and behaviors. Many of these wild cats are endangered and require conservationists' care. It is critical to prioritize the conservation of these tiny wild cats before they go extinct. Here is a list of the 10 Asian tiny wild cat species.

10. Bornean Bay Cat

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     The Bornean Bay Cat (Catopuma Badia) is a species of wild cat found exclusively on the island of Borneo. These cats may be found in a broad range of environments, from forests to marshes., from woods to marshes. The bay cats have a beautiful chestnut coat that is lighter on the undersides. The length of these cats varies between 49.5 and 67 cm from head to tail. The tail is around 30.0 to 40.3 cm long. Bornean bay cats are nocturnal and solitary creatures. As a result, studying the behavior of these cats is tough. According to the IUCN Red List, the cat is an Endangered species. The illegal wildlife trade as well as the deliberate loss of this cat's habitat owing to palm oil plantations and deforestation are the primary causes responsible for the species' population decline.

9. Chinese Mountain Cat

     The Chinese Mountain Cat (Felis bieti) is a Chinese endemic. It may be located on the Tibetan Plateau's northernmost rim. Elevations range from 8,200 to 16,400 feet for the cat. Coniferous woods, alpine shrublands and meadows, and high-altitude grasslands are among its habitats. These cats' head-body lengths range from 69 to 84 cm, and their black-ringed tails are 29 to 41 cm long. Sand-colored fur with Dark guard hair. The Chinese mountain cat's prey base includes rodents, birds, and pikas. This species is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. One of the most serious hazards to this species is human poisoning of pikas, which results in the death of these cats that feed on pikas.

8. Asiatic Golden Cat

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     The Asiatic Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii) may be found throughout Southeast Asia and India. It lives in a variety of environments, including woods and grasslands. It has been observed at altitudes of up to 12,000 feet. The species' head to body length ranges from 66 to 105 cm, and its tail is 40 to 57 cm long. The coat's hue ranges from crimson to black and is consistent. Stripes and spots may appear. Black and white lines go over the face. These cats like to be alone and nocturnal. They can climb trees and hunt birds, rodents, reptiles, hares, and other animals. The IUCN has classified the Asian golden cat as a Near Threatened species. Illegal wildlife trading, human persecution, and deforestation all pose threats to Asia's wild cat populations.

7. Asiatic Wildcat  

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        The Asiatic Wildcat (Felis lybica ornata) is a wildcat subspecies found in Asia. The Caucasus mountain range serves as a physical barrier between European and Asian wildcat populations. The wildcat lives in semi-desert and desert areas surrounding the Caspian Sea in Asia. These cats have also been sighted at elevations as high as 9,800 feet. The hue of this subspecies' coat changes depending on where it lives. Desert-dwelling populations have paler coats with little patches or stripes. The ones that live in woodland areas are deeper in color and extensively striped, spotted, or both. These cats' prey includes tiny animals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. They have been observed killing very deadly snakes such as cobras and vipers. The Asiatic wildcat is classified as Least Concern, however, numbers have fallen over time.

6. Rusty Spotted Cat

       The Rusty-Spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) is a wild cat of Asia with a somewhat limited range that may be found in portions of the Indian subcontinent. The cat lives in deciduous woods, grasslands, and scrubland settings. The cat's length ranges from 35 to 48 cm, with a tail length of roughly 15 to 30 cm. The gray fur has rusty streaks on the sides and back. The underparts are white with black markings. Because of the secretive character of this species, nothing is known about its habits. The cats are said to be nocturnal. The rusty-spotted cat's prey includes rodents, birds, insects, frogs, and lizards. Because of its limited range and habitat destruction, the cat is considered Near Threatened.

5. Pallas’s Cat

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       The Pallas’s Cat (Otocolobus manul) inhabits the Central Asian montane steppe and grassland environments. This cat's body size spans from 46 to 65 cm, and its tail is 21 to 31 cm long. The cat has long, dense ochre-colored hair and a robust, plush look. Pallas's cat is a solitary and territorial creature. During the day, it sleeps in caves, other animals' burrows, and rock crevices, and hunts in the late afternoon. Because the cat is a slow runner, it hunts by stalking and ambushing its victim. Its primary prey is birds and rodents. The Pallas' cat is classed as Near Threatened by the IUCN because poaching, a fall in the prey base, and habitat degradation threaten the species' population stability.

4. Jungle Cat

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           The swamp cat, (Felis chaus), is found across Asia. The cat loves to dwell in locations with lush vegetation and many water supplies. As such, it is found in wetland and riparian environments. It may also be found in man-made environments such as big plantations and cultivated fields. The cat may also be found at altitudes ranging from sea level to around 7,500 feet. The jungle cat's head to body length ranges from 59 to 76 cm. The face is long and thin, with a white muzzle. The coat's color ranges from gray to sandy to reddish brown and is devoid of markings or stripes. These cats are solitary and territorial, and they hunt during the day. Small animals, fish, birds, insects, and reptiles are all prey for jungle cats. The IUCN classifies this species as Least Concern because of its widespread range and generally steady population. However, habitat degradation and unlawful hunting endanger the species' existence.

3. Fishing Cat

           The Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a species of wild cat found in Southeast and South Asia. These cats enjoy wetland settings such as mangroves, marshes, swamps, reed beds, and so on. They can also be found in tropical dry and evergreen woods. From the tip of the tail to the tip of the skull, these cats measure 57 to 78 cm. The tail is between 20 and 30 centimeters in length. The coat is grey in color, with spots and stripes dispersed irregularly. Because of their nocturnal and stealthy nature, fishing cats are difficult to see. These cats are skilled swimmers that can even swim underwater. Fish makes up the majority of their diets. They also eat reptiles, rodents, snakes, amphibians, and other animals. The greatest threat to this species is the degradation of wetlands. The fishing cat is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

2. Marbled Cat

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        Southeast and South Asia are home to the Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata). It lives in deciduous and evergreen tropical kinds of wood, swamps, and peat bogs. The feline is around the size of a domestic cat. The cat's size spans from 45 to 62 cm from head to tail, with a tail length of 35 to 55 cm. The coat is brownish-gray to buff in hue, with black stripes, solid spots, and 'marbled' patterned dark-edged patches. Because the marbled cat is a reclusive species, little is known about its habits. It is a skilled climber who frequently hunts in the forest canopy. These cats hunt birds, reptiles, rodents such as squirrels, and other small mammals. The IUCN has classified the species as Near Threatened. Snaring and killing for body parts, as well as habitat degradation, pose a threat to the marbled cat's survival.

1. Leopard Cat

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           The Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is a species of wild cat found in East, Southeast, and South Asia. The cat may be found at heights of up to 3,300 feet in tropical, subtropical, and deciduous woods. Leopard cats may also live in modified ecosystems such as plantation areas. The feline is around the size of a domestic cat. The cat's length ranges from 38.8 to 66 cm. Long tails range in length from 17.2 to 31 cm. The fur is normally tawny with black patches, and white underparts. However, the color and patterns on the cat's pelage change depending on where it lives. The leopard cat is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. However, numerous populations of this species are threatened by hunting and habitat degradation.


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