Are ocelots nocturnal?

I’ll quote from the best source about wild cats.

“Although primarily nocturnal, ocelots also hunt during the daytime, especially on cloudy and rainy days; they may become completely nocturnal in areas where they are hunted.”

The reference to being hunted is by humans because at one time the ocelot was the most frequently hunted cat in South America. From the 1960s ocelot skins dominated the US fur market reaching a high of about 140,000 skins in 1970. It takes about 12.9 ocelot skins to make a fur coat.

Ocelots sometimes hunt at night in open areas but they are very dependent upon dense cover. This cat has become adapted to living in areas of dense cover where there is a high population of rodents.

The ocelot has daytime retreats which are shelters varying from depressions in the ground, at the base of a large tree or under a fallen tree or in clumps of vines or perhaps up a tree because they are excellent climbers

During night-time hunting ocelots cross and recross their ranges. They use two methods for hunting: a “slow hunting walk and a move-and-sit method”.

I am deeply indebted to the book Wild Cats of the World by Mel and Fiona Sunquist for the information presented here.




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