Leopard Cat Facts

Leopard Cat Facts

Leopard Cat

Common Name: Leopard Cat
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felinae (Prionailurus) P.b. euptilura Amur Leopard Cat
Species: bengalensis
Misc: This cat has been the subject of long debate as to its taxonomic status. There are numerous subspecies that some feel should be classified as individual species in their own right and other species that are felt should be classified as a subspecies of the Leopard Cat.


Subspecies: P.b. bengalensis – India, southeast Asia, China Thailand
P.b. sumatranus – Sumatra
P.b. javanensis – Java and Bali
P.b. borneoensis – Borneo
P.b. trevelyani – Pakistan Asian Leopard Cat by Anthony Blueman
P.b. euptilura – Manchuria AKA the Amur or Tshushima (thought by some to be a separate species)
P.b. nminuta – The Phillipines
P.b. chinensis – North China
P.b. iromotensis – Iriomote Island – disputed and still recognized as a separate species by some.

Size and Appearance: Weighing in at 6-15 pounds and reaching lengths of 35-38 inches, this is the most common cat of Southern Asia. It is similar in overall size and shape to the domestic cat, but it has longer legs. Its coat has a great deal of variation in its color throughout its range, and tends to be yellowish-brown in the tropics and grayish-brown in the northern part of its range. The coat is dotted with black spots, which sometimes are solid and sometimes rosettes. The tail is banded with dark rings towards its buff colored tip. The ears are dark with central white spots. Sumatra cats are smaller with fewer markings; Java and Bali cats are duller; Borneo cats are brighter and redder; Pakistan cats are grayer; Manchuria cats are much larger than the other subspecies with much thicker fur, grayer in color and less spotting; Philippines cats are the smallest.

Habitat: Woodlands, forests, and scrub at all altitudes (as long as snow isn’t deeper than 4 inches.

Distribution: India, southern and eastern Asia including Indonesia and the Philippines. The Tshushima, or Amur lives in the Tshushima Islands.

Reproduction and Offspring: In the northern part of its range, breeding occurs once per year usually in February/March. In the tropics, there is not believed to be any set season and mating takes place year round. Gestation is 65-70 days, after which females produce a litter of 2-4 kittens. At birth, the newborns weigh approximately 2.75 ounces, and will gain about 11 grams per day. Their eyes will normally be open by the 10th day. They reach sexual maturity around 18 months.

In captivity, they have lived up to 15 years, but tend to lose their teeth at 8-10 years.

Social System and Communication: Unknown.  Leopard Cat Sounds

Hunting and Diet: Primarily nocturnal, they hunt both on the ground and in the trees. The primary diet consists of rodents, young ungulates, hares, birds, reptiles, insects, eels, fish, and occasionally carrion.

Principal Threats: The primary threats facing the Leopard cat are deforestation, commercial exploitation (in the past numbers as high as 400,000 pelts per year). This was also the first cat recently to be used by man in a hybrid situation in a quest for a new breed of cat. The Leopard Cat crossed with the Domestic Cat has produced a now recognized new breed of domestic – the Bengal Cat. This has removed potential breeding cats from conservation programs and has diminished the gene pool for helping to save the pure Leopard Cat.

Status: CITES: Appendix II (except F.b. bengalensis which is on Appendix I). IUCN: Not listed.

Felid TAG recommendation: Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Leopard cats from various geographic origins were commonly imported into this country during the 1960s and early 1970s. The public donated most leopard cats in zoos. With the end of leopard cat harvesting by the fur industry, this species has become more common in nature. This, combined with the small, mixed population in zoos is the reason that this species is not recommended for support in North American. Several species of cats are naturally rare and, although not legally endangered, have never been available for zoos or other holders. Other species are native to remote areas and highly regulated because of endangered status. The following species meet these criteria, and, therefore, are not presently in North American collections. The Felid TAG does not support future acquisition.

How rare is this cat? The International Species Information Service lists 218 Asian Leopard Cats worldwide, with 29 being in the U.S. There are only an 9 Amur Leopard Cats in the U.S. according to ISIS.

Information reprinted With Permission from the IUCN Wild Cats Book.

Watch the video below to see why Leopard Cats should not be used for creating hybrid cats.



Leopards Cats of BCR


Meet our leopard cat friends:



Trick E

Trick E

hear big cats

Male Amur Leopard Cat

DOB 4/15/01  DOD 7/27/14

Sponsor Trick E http://www.bigcatrescue.biz/servlet/the-1002/Leopard-Cat-Sponsorship/Detail


Trick E is one of the only Amur Leopard Cats born in this hemisphere since the year 2000 according to ISIS. These cats have been recommended for phase out by the Felid TAG to make room for “more important cats”. There were only 11 left on this side back in 2001.

Trick-E has been neutered and his father Draikko, who has since passed on, was neutered as well.

Trick E. was named so for the trick he played on the keepers at Big Cat Rescue. When he was born, it was believed he was actually a she and so was named Miss. E. That all changed once he was actually examined and it was discover that “she” was a “he”. This earned him the name Trick E.

Trick E. is very shy around most people, however, when some of his favorite keepers are around, he will joyfully pounce out into the open and converse in his very special language, EARRRRRRRR EARRRRRRR! We do not believe that any cat should be born for life in a cage and have altered all of our male cats or permanently separated males and females so that no other cat will ever again be born for life in a cage here.



We quit breeding cats in 1997.  We spent the next 3 years building better Cat-A-Tats for our 100+ residents.  We neutered and spayed all of the bobcats, cougars and lynx first.  We never did breed lions or tigers.

We had a pair of ancient Amur Leopard Cats who had lived together since 1995 in the “Bengal barn”.  All of the Bengal Cats have since been altered.

When the Leopard Cats moved into their new 1000 square foot Cat-A-Tat with it’s bushes, trees and underground dens. It must have been very romantic because the old cats surprised us with a his birth, but they have since died of old age.


Mr E

Mr E


hear big cats


Male Leopard Cat

DOB 6/30/00 – 5/27/14


We quit breeding cats in 1997 when our Co-Founder disappeared.  We spent the next 3 years building better Cat-A-Tats for our 200 residents. We neutered and spayed all of the bobcats, cougars and lynx first.

We had a pair of Amur Leopard Cats who had lived together since 1995. In the Spring of 2000 the Leopard Cats moved into their new 1000 square foot Cat-A-Tat with it’s bushes, trees and underground dens. It must have been very romantic.

Much to our amazement, Shalimar and Draikko gave birth to a beautiful, bouncing baby boy on June 30, 2000.

While it was not our intent to breed this endangered species we are are so blessed to have had this little bundle of joy join us. He was named Mr. E as a sound a like for Mystery. He has always been an elusive cat, however, his participation in the operant conditioning program will soon change that.



You can read tributes to Mr. E here:  https://sites.google.com/site/bigcattributes/home/mr-e-leopard-cat







Save Leopard Cats in Taiwan

Save Leopard Cats in Taiwan

Leopard Cats are Losing their Last Foothold in Taiwan


According to the Forestry Bureau, it’s a class-one endangered animal in Taiwan, with fewer than 1,000 estimated remaining island-wide.


Recently there has been a on-going news in Taiwan concerning the threat to the survival of the Leopard Cats, an endangered species, and the conservation of their natural habitat. 

It was revealed in the news that the authorities from Miaoli county hava approved a development plan for a massively sized death care facility and graveyards at the expense of expelling hundreds of leopard cats from their natural habitation.


The approved location for building this facility has been previously identified as one of the most concentratedly populated area of Leopard Cats in Taiwan, and this development plan will take up all

Today at Big Cat Rescue New Black Cat Found in Sunderbans

New Black Cat Found in Sunderbans


The leopard cat, like the bobcat, has many variations in their coat pattern, and black would have a hunting advantage in a dark, forested area.

The images they show in the piece are a black leopard adult and cub, but if you listen closely, they say the cat is just a bit larger than a domestic cat.