The Tiny But Mighty Rusty-Spotted Cat: A Fascinating Miniature Wild Feline

The rusty-spotted cat, also known as Prionailurus rubiginosus, is a type of wild cat that is recognized as one of the smallest species in the world. With a length ranging from 14 to 19 inches and a tail measuring 5.9 to 12 inches, this cat weighs approximately 2 to 3.5 lbs. The rusty-spotted cat can only be found in India and Sri Lanka, specifically in forested areas, scrublands, and grasslands. Sadly, it is estimated that there are only less than 10,000 mature cats left in the wild. Despite their small size, they have short and soft fur, with grey coat and small rusty-brown spots on their flanks, back, and head area.

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The feline possesses a distinctive appearance, with dual dark markings on either cheek and stripes that stretch from the eyes to the shoulders.

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The tail of the rusty-spotted cat is adorned with dark circles while the underside boasts a collection of bigger white spots.

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Rusty-spotted felines are recognized for their exceptional nimbleness and are deemed proficient when it comes to scaling trees.

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According to Bashoh, the Via generally pass their day in slumber mode inside hollow tree trunks or places that are covered in thick foliage.

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As per the International Society for Endangered Cats, there is a belief that these cats prefer hunting on the ground in the evening hours.

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The feline’s diet mainly comprises of tiny creatures such as rodents and birds. Besides, they also consume insects, frogs, and lizards. The experts suggest that in case of danger, the cat tends to seek refuge by scaling up trees and concealing itself there.

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According to the International Society for Endangered Cats, female rusty-spotted cats usually have one or two kittens that are born in a secluded cave with shallow depth.

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According to White Wolf Pack, newborn kittens weigh only 60 to 77 grams and have rows of black spots. As they grow, their coat pattern changes into rusty blotches. They reach sexual maturity at approximately 68 weeks of age.

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The lifespan of rusty-spotted cats in their natural habitat remains a mystery. However, it has been observed that these felines can survive up to 12 years under captivity.

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