Bay Cat Facts
Bornean Bay Cat
Common Name: Bornean Bay Cat
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Genus: Felinae (Catopuma)
Misc.: No actual studies of this cat have ever been made in the wild, and it continues to be the mystery cat of the feline family. Virtually all information has been taken from museum specimens, except for in 1992 when a female was captured in a trap accidentally. It is believed she was kept in captivity for some months after capture, and was brought in to the local museum on the brink of death, and her remains were used for genetic analysis.
Size and Appearance: About the size of a housecat, the Bay Cat weighs between 5-10 pounds. It has 2 coat colors, the more common being a chestnut-red, and the other being a gray. The coat is speckled with black markings, and the backs of the rounded ears are darker in color. The tail is long and has a whitish stripe running down most of the underside of the tail, which becomes pure white at the tip, but black on the topside. It has a long body, and that combined with the long tail give it the appearance of the Jaguarundi.
Habitat: The Highlands, areas of rocky limestone on the edge of dense jungle. Some reports also indicate it may be found in dense primary forest and along rivers.
Distribution: Borneo only.
Reproduction and Offspring: Unknown.
Social System and Communication: Unknown.
Hunting and Diet: Unknown.
Principal Threats: The only believed threat at this time would be loss of habitat due to human settlement and logging. Unfortunately, since virtually nothing is known about this little cat, it is difficult to determine what threatens its existence and survival.
Status: CITES: Appendix II. IUCN: Insufficiently known.
Felid TAG 2000 recommendation: Bornean bay cat (Catopuma badia). Until recently, this species was an enigma because knowledge about its origin and biology was only derived from several museum specimens. Although recently photographed in the wild, it would be highly unlikely that a viable captive population of this naturally rare felid could ever be obtained for North America.
How rare is this cat ? The International Species Information Service lists 44 worldwide, with 5 being in the U.S.
Sad Capture of Bay Cat
We have been unable to learn where this cat was being held, or what happened to him.
Information reprinted With Permission from the IUCN Wild Cats Book
Photo Credits: Copyright Art Wolfe www.artwolfe.com from the book THE LIVING WILD
Voice talent by Bonnie-Jean Creais 2006