We had been following his story from birth and chased him through his second owner, who sent him along to Big Cat Rescue with three Bengals on 7/19/94. He arrived taped up in a cardboard box. The fury from within the box made opening it a death defying act. As with many exotic cats, the smaller they are, the more fierce they can be. Everyone says that she “looks just like a domestic cat” but careful study of her size and shape shows that she is indeed a wild cat. It wasn’t until we went to have her neutered that we discovered that she had fooled all three of his owners; Nico is a female.
Melanistic Geoffroy cat
Nico speaks to us of the medicine of Antelope which is the call to Action. Antelope reminds Nico that life on this planet is brief and we are all here with a higher purpose than what our Ego paints as its illusion. Our higher calling has nothing to do with hoarding things. The physical body is made of dust and it and all that it gathers will return to dust. Nico wants us to remember that we are called to action on behalf of self, family, clan, nation and finally Mother Earth.
Do something today to make the world a better place. Pick up litter that you didn’t toss. Clean up a mess that you didn’t make. Smile at everyone you meet and silently wish them well. Make a child laugh or teach him to read. Pay the toll for the person you don’t know on the highway behind you. Clean out your closets and garage and give all of the things you have gathering dust to someone who can use them. Nico knows that the more you give, the more abundantly life gives back, but you have to make the first move.
Geoffroy Cat Species Spotlight Video
At 19 Nico needed a tooth extraction to save her life.
More Pages About Nico
* Today At Big Cat Rescue – Walkabout Video: The 3 Texas Tigers, Amanda, Andre and Arthur show off how smart they are at dinner time, enrichment is given to Alex Tiger, Simba Leopard, Zeus Tiger and Sundari Leopard. Check out Nico the Geoffroy Cat’s cute, pink toes. A sickly little foster kitten goes to Jamie for intensive care. See Natasha Siberian Lynx have some mats combed out of her fur. Interns help move her back outside after her seizure and she gets a new Cat-a-Tat. Bobcats, Lovey & Thurston have to move one door down first. http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-july-23-2014/
* Today At Big Cat Rescue’s Wildcat Walkabout Video August 29, 2013: In this hour long walk about you will see Flavio Tiger in the Vacation Rotation cage and being loaded into a wagon for diagnostics. You will see Bella Tiger making the long walk to the Vacation Rotation cage and enjoying it. You will see the new Kitten Cabana construction, Tommie Girl Bobcat, Tobi Cougar, Gilligan Canada Lynx, Lovey, Thurston, Mary Ann, Moses, Bailey, Anazasie, Windstar,Max and Levi the bobcats. Also rare glimpses at Genie Sandcat, Nico Geoffroy Cat, Pharaoh and Tonga the white servals, Mr E the Leopard cat, Jade and Armani the leopards, Joseph and Sasha the lions and Cameron and Zabu the white tiger. Lots of cats, lots of rain, lots of interesting behavior.
* Today At Big Cat Rescue Ocober 2013 Walkabout Video: Angelica, Angie, Lil White Dove, Little Dove, Levi, Precious, Mary Ann, Thurston, Lovey, Tommie Girl, Moses, Bailey, Andi, Sierra, Cherokee. Leopards: Cheetaro, Jade, Armani, Jumanji, Simba and Nyla. Canada Lynx: Gilligan. Siberian Lynx: Natasha. Caracal: Rusty. Hybrids: JoJo and King Tut. Geoffroy Cat: Nico takes a long bath. Ocelots: Amazing Grace and Nirvana. Tigers: Zabu and TJ. Cougars: Cody, Tobi and Aspen Echo. Lion: Cameron. Sand Cat: Canyon. Servals: Ginger, Nala, Frosty, Kalihari, Zouletta and Zimba… and a whole lot more. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-big-cat-rescue-oct-21-2013/
Common Name: Geoffroy’s Cat Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata) Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Felidae Genus: Felinae (Oncifelis) Species: geoffroyi Misc: Geoffroy’s cats are strong swimmers that regularly enter the water, and have been recorded frequently swimming fast flowing rivers 100 feet wide. Geoffroy’s cats were named after the French naturalist Geoffroy St. Hilaire.
F.g. salinarum (once believed to be a separate species)
Size and Appearance: One of the small cats about which little is known, this cat has a uniformly patterned coat of small black spots of nearly equal size and spacing. The ground color tends to be more of an ochre color in the northern part of their range to a gray in the southern part. Black (melanistic) individuals are common. Males weigh an average of 10 pounds, and females average 8.
Habitat: They occupy a wide variety of habitats, from the pampas grasslands and arid Chaco shrub and woodlands, up to alpine saline deserts. It is absent from tropical rain forests, broad-leaved forests, and open areas. It occupies the same areas as the Pampas Cat, but the Geoffroy’s sticks to dense ground cover which separates the two ecologically.
Distribution: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Reproduction and Offspring: After a gestation of approximately 72-78 days, females produce a litter of 2 (sometimes 3) kittens. They weigh 2.25-3.5 ounces at birth and will begin to walk between 14-21 days old. They are weaned around 3 months of age, and attain sexual maturity around 18 months for females and 24 months for males (in captivity).
At Big Cat Rescue, Geoffroy’s cats have lived over 20 years, compared to 14 being the oldest elsewhere.
Social System and Communication: They are solitary in the wild, and the females will have overlapping home ranges, males however, will not. They are nocturnal and partially arboreal. The males and females will come together for mating. Hear our purrs, hisses, snarls, calls, and growl sounds HERE
Hunting and Diet: The primary diet of this cat consists of rodents, hares, fish, reptiles, birds, and various small mammals.
Principal Threats: The biggest threat has been the exploitation of its pelt for the fur trade, which sadly still exists. The good news is that commercial hunting has virtually ceased, and the kills from which the pelts are derived are from cats killed as pests and livestock predators. This has helped reduce the numbers from what was an average of 55,000 animals per year to considerably less (exact figures not known). Deforestation from human encroachment is also a problem facing this little cat, but since so little is known of its habits, the extent of the damage is unknown at this time.
Status: CITES: Appendix I. IUCN: Not listed.
Felid TAG recommendation: Geoffroy’s cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi). Once common in zoos and the private sector, this easily kept species has disappeared from both types of holders because of poor management. Due to its Appendix I status under CITES, additional specimens from range countries are not easily obtained. Without new founders, the extant population is nonviable. The TAG recommends Phase-Out for this species. At the Annual AZA Conference (September 1999), the following four species were recommended by the Felid TAG to be ‘down-graded’ to a Phase-Out populations. For the jaguarundi, tigrina, and Geoffroy’s cat, these recommendations were made because of limited space available, the limited number of founders in these populations, and limited potential for acquiring additional founders.
How rare is this cat ? The International Species Information Service lists 54 worldwide, with 52 being in the U.S.
Information reprinted With Permission from the IUCN Wild Cats Book.
Most people are not intimidated by the Geoffroy’s Cat’s size, but they should be. They have not ever been fully domesticated, and are a truly untrustworthy wild cat.
President Jamie Veronica asks Pharoah if he'd like to be on the tour path
Dr. Wynn and Ops Mgr Gale take a look at Cookie tiger's sore
Bella tiger vies for attention while Dr Wynn and Gale check out Cookie tiger
Purrsonality serval watches tour group and volunteer painting cage next door
Servals look especially tall when you see them in a walking stretch
Can you spot the 3-5 lb Geoffroy Cat?
Here's a hint; she's on the log. It is Nico the Geoffroy Cat.
Geoffroy Cat Nico at Big Cat Rescue
Jarred painting cages in the serval area of Big Cat Rescue
An intern giving the 3pm tour in front of Ty the serval
Diablo the Savannah cat is pretty but makes you wonder why people will pay 17,000
Joseph and Sasha the lions on a lazy afternoon at the sanctuary
Esmerelda was euthanized Monday morning. She had been in the cat hospital since Sunday morning and her conditioned was worsening, it was her time and she was ready to go. Even though she was weak, Esmerelda still purred at the sight of her friends who comforted her as she slipped quietly to sleep. She was going on twenty years of age which was the equivalent of being over 100 years old in human terms. Her memorial page is at https://sites.google.com/site/bigcattributes/home/esmerelda-serval thanks to our AdvoCat Julie Hanan.
Esmerelda during a past exam by the Vet that monitored her age related kidney failure