Rusty and Spotted, but Rarely Seen

Rusty and Spotted, but Rarely Seen

The team at Boxiecat is perpetually amazed by the beauty and grace of the many different types of cats that we come across in our daily duties as Cat Happiness Specialists, but we were especially captivated by the delicate charm of a particularly tiny species of wildcat that we recently learned about.  At only 20-30 inches in length including its tail and weighing between 2 and 3.5 lbs., the Rusty Spotted Cat is the world’s smallest wild cat!  

The Rusty Spotted Cat is found only in India and Sri Lanka and is often mistaken for leopard cubs by its human neighbors.  At maturity, this tiny wildcat is only half the size of the average domestic cat and has a striking appearance with short, fawn-colored fur and spotted markings.  Like their distant leopard relatives, Rusty Spotted Cats are highly secretive making sightings in the wild quite rare.

Due to the private nature of this diminutive wildcat, there is still much to learn about the habits of the Rusty Spotted Cat.  Most of what is known about the behavior of these elusive cats is derived from the writings of two naturalists, R. A. Sterndale and T. C. Jerdon, who kept the small wild cats as pets in the mid- to late-1800’s. It is believed that this species hunts small birds and rodents on the ground at night, spends days in thickets or hollow logs, and seeks safety from predators in the treetops of the dense tropical forests of its South Asian environs.

The Rusty Spotted Cat is currently listed as a “Vulnerable” species as much of its natural habitat has been lost to the development of farmland. To learn more about this intriguing feline, and to donate to its protection, check out the International Society for Endangered Cats’ page on the Rusty Spotted Cat.

The protection and care of all cats everywhere is a core value of Boxiecat. Check out the following article in our Help Center to learn more about How Boxiecat Benefits Cats.