Bornean Bay Cat

Bay Cat Facts

Bornean Bay Cat

Common Name: Bornean Bay Cat
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felinae (Catopuma)
Species: badia

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 whiListen to Bay Catte 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.

Longevity unknown.

Social System and Communication: Unknown.

Bay Cat Sounds:  Play Bay Cat sounds below.

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 from the book THE LIVING WILD

Voice talent by Bonnie-Jean Creais 2006

See Conservation Work Funded By Big Cat Rescue here:

All conservation insitu work:

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