clouded tiger cat

Clouded tiger-cat Leopardus pardinoides

Meet the Clouded Tiger-Cat: Nature’s New Marvel

Exciting News for Cat Lovers!

Big Cat Rescue is thrilled to share groundbreaking news with our community of Big Cat Rescuers. The recent discovery of a new species, the Clouded tiger-cat (Leopardus pardinoides), has set the scientific world abuzz. This elusive feline, with its striking appearance and unique behaviors, is a testament to the rich biodiversity still hidden in the wild. A team of researchers, including Dr. Jim Sanderson and Jose Ramirez-Fernandez, have just announced the discovery of a new cat species, the Clouded tiger-cat (Leopardus pardinoides), and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share the details with you.

What Makes Leopardus pardinoides Special?

This fascinating feline is a long-tailed cat with short, round ears and weighs about 5 pounds. It looks a lot like a margay, but with its own unique style. Its fur is dense and incredibly soft, showcasing a mix of rich reddish, orange, and yellow tones. The cat’s coat is decorated with striking, cloud-like spots that sometimes merge together, making it a real beauty in the wild.

One of the most unique features of the Clouded tiger-cat is that it has only one pair of mammae (teats). This is quite unusual compared to other cats.

Where Can You Find It?

The Clouded tiger-cat lives in the cloud forests of southern Central America and the Andean mountain ranges. These forests are sadly disappearing, making the discovery even more critical. You can usually spot this cat above 5,000 feet (about 1,500 meters) in areas with cool temperatures and lots of rain, especially where ocelots are scarce or absent. This cat is so rare that these four images from Jose Ramirez-Fernandez are all I have.

Home Sweet Home

This new species roams across 11 mountain ecoregions. In Central America, it’s found in Costa Rica and Panama, specifically in the Tilarán, Central Volcanic, and Talamanca mountain ranges. These regions are known for their lush, high-altitude forests.

Why This Matters

The discovery of the Clouded tiger-cat is a reminder of the incredible diversity of life on our planet and the importance of preserving it. With habitats under threat from deforestation and climate change, every new species we find underscores the urgent need for conservation efforts.

Join us in celebrating this remarkable discovery and help spread the word about the Clouded tiger-cat. Together, we can make a difference in protecting these beautiful creatures and their homes.

Unveiling the Clouded Tiger-Cat

The Clouded tiger-cat, Leopardus pardinoides, has been a mysterious presence in the dense cloud forests of Costa Rica and Panama. This species, named for its cloud forest preference and cloud like fur patterns, resembles a blend of the clouded leopard and the traditional tiger-cat. The intricate markings and the elegant form of this cat are truly mesmerizing.

Habitat and Distribution

The Clouded tiger-cat has been primarily found in the remote regions of the Tilarán, Central Volcanic, and Talamanca mountain ranges of Panama and Costa Rica, where dense foliage and challenging terrain have kept it hidden from human eyes for centuries. The discovery of this species underscores the importance of preserving these untouched habitats, which are critical for the survival of such rare wildlife.

Behavior and Ecology

Unlike many of its feline cousins, the Clouded tiger-cat is primarily nocturnal and arboreal. It spends most of its time in the trees, leaping from branch to branch with agility. This cat’s diet consists of small mammals, birds, and insects, highlighting its role as a crucial predator in maintaining the balance of its ecosystem.

Conservation Significance

The discovery of the Clouded tiger-cat is a beacon of hope for conservationists. It emphasizes the incredible biodiversity that remains to be studied and protected. However, it also brings attention to the urgent need for conservation efforts. Habitat destruction and climate change pose significant threats to this newly discovered species. Protecting its habitat is essential for its survival and the health of the ecosystem it inhabits.

Big Cat Rescue’s Role

At Big Cat Rescue, our mission is to ensure that wild cats live free and thrive in their natural habitats. The discovery of the Clouded tiger-cat reinforces the importance of our work in conservation, research, and education. We are committed to supporting efforts to study and protect this remarkable species through collaborations with scientists, local communities, and international conservation organizations.

Get Involved

You can play a vital role in the preservation of the Clouded tiger-cat and other wild cats. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Donate: Your contributions help fund essential research and conservation projects. Donate Here!
  • Spread Awareness: Share information about the Clouded tiger-cat with your network.
  • Volunteer: Join our team in sharing these various conservation activities on social media. Search for @BigCatRescue on all platforms.


The discovery of the Clouded tiger-cat is a reminder of the wonders that nature still holds. It inspires us to continue our efforts to protect these magnificent creatures and their habitats. Together, we can ensure that the Clouded tiger-cat and other wild cats have a future where they roam freely and flourish.

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