Guigna Facts

Guigna Cat Facts


GuignaCommon Name: Guigna
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felinae (Oncifelis)
Species: guigna
Photo By  Dr. Gerardo Acosta J.
Chilean Veterinarian and Master in Science

Misc.: Description and behaviour:  The guigna (pronounced gwee-nya) is the smallest of the felids in the Americas and weighs 2.2 kg.   It is a brownish coloured cat with a heavily spotted coat.  It is very similar to the Geoffroy Cat in appearance and some even believe it to be a subspecies.  It does have a fuller tail and smaller face than the Geoffroy and like the Geoffroy can be either spotted or melanistic.

Habitat and Distribution: It is native to only Argentina and Chile and has well developed arboreal abilities.

KodkodLitter Size:  3 or four kittens.

Longevity:  up to 11 years.

Protection Status:  CITES Appendix II.  Fully protected in Argentina and Chile although it is estimated that up to 20 cats per day are killed in these countries by farmers protecting their chickens.

Felid TAG recommendation: (Oncifelis guigna). Another little known cat from Chile (primarily), the guigna has only been maintained by range-country zoos. The TAG does not support efforts to import specimens to North America, even if available.


jimandguigna.jpg (116238 bytes)For the ultimate information on the Guigna ask

Kodkod GuignaJim Sanderson, Ph.D.

Center for Applied Biodiversity Science Conservation International 1919 M Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20036-3521 USA 202 912-1803 FAX: 202 912-0772


Photo at right by Dr. Gerardo Acosta J.
Encargado Fauna Silvestre
Conaf VIII Región
Claudio Arrau 738
Casilla 5, Chillán
Fono/Fax (5642)221085
Fono (5642)226009



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  • What a beautiful pussy cat. I didn't realise that there were so many small wild cats. I am working my way through all of the species that I have found. Thirty four at last count. Absolutely amazing.

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