The margay is a species of wild cat. By “species” people mean a particular sort of wild cat. Wild cats, as you can guess, only live in the wild. In this way they are different to domestic cats because domestic cats live in homes with people. However, except for where they live, wild cats and domestic cats are very similar. There are 36 different sorts of wild cat.
The margay is a special kind of small wild cat. It is about the size of a domestic cat as you can see by the picture of the cat in the man’s arms. It weighs about 7 pounds which is 3.2 kilograms. In fact, this is a bit smaller than the average domestic cat. Although it is smaller, it is stronger than a domestic cat.
“Prey” = what the margay eats.
The margay lives in forests that are in Mexico, South America and Central America. You can see where these are on the map. There was a time when it lived in Texas, America but either because it was hunted or because people removed the sort of places where it likes to live, it is no longer seen in Texas.
It likes to live in trees. It is very clever at climbing trees. In fact it is probably the world’s best tree climber of all the cats. The margay has special, flexible ankles. This gives it the ability to climb down trees head first like a squirrel. You will see them moving along tree branches upside down, hanging on like monkeys. They move fast in trees. They can hang on to a branch by one foot and grab another animal to eat at the same time.
The margay’s spotted coat is beautiful, very soft and thick. This is why they have been hunted and killed for their lovely fur. The margay is a wild cat that does not mind being around people if this happens when they are young. This means that sometimes people tame them and keep them as a pet. Both killing them for their fur and taming them to be pets is bad for the margay. This is because if these things happened for a long time there would be no more margays left in forests in the wild. I think people would agree that the margay should be allowed to live in wild places that it likes. It is better if they are left alone.
One thing about the way the margay looks is important. Also it definitely stands out. This cat has a very long tail. It is much longer than a domestic cat’s tail. All wild cats that like to live in trees have long tails because it helps them to keep their balance. This stops them falling off the tree to the ground.
Margays don’t spend all their time in trees. The walk on the ground too. They hunt animals to catch and eat that both live on the ground and in trees but they prefer to be in trees because it is safer up there.
This small wild cat has huge eyes compared to the size of its head. They have great eyesight. Their large eyes and good eyesight suggests to me that they like to hunt when it is dark.
- Original photo of tame margay.
- Profile of photographer of margay in globe.
- Photostream of photographer who took margay in tree.
- Photographer profile of water rat picture.
- Photographer profile of agouti picture.
- Original photo of Tinamou.