The Asiatic golden cat is a small to medium sized species of wild cat. “Species” means a sort or type of wild cat that is different to the other 35 wild cats.
This cat is also called the “Asian golden cat” and sometimes “Temminck’s cat”. The last name is based on the name of the person, Mr C.J. Temminck, who first discovered another but different golden coated cat, the African golden cat. People in Thailand call this cat “fire tiger”.
This cat is about the same size as an ocelot. It weighs between 18 and 35 pounds (8 – 16 kilograms). This is about twice the size of a domestic cat or the size of a typical dog.
It sounds strange but this cat does not always have a golden colored coat. This is a cat of many colors. The coat can be a golden brown and also dark brown, bright red or grey. Sometimes the cat has spots on its coat and sometimes the coat is without spots. The back of the ear is always black, though. The head has strong markings of white lines with black.
The map in the picture shows that this beautiful wild cat lives in an area of the world called Southeast Asia. It lives in quite a large number of countries in the area. Some of them are marked on the map. As well as the countries on the map it lives in Tibet, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.
This cat prefers to live in forests of some sort. The type of forest depends on where the cat lives. It might be a tropical rain forest.Tropical forests are on the equator which is half way between the north and south poles. Or it might be dry forest where the trees shed leaves every year (deciduous forest).
The Asiatic golden cat mainly hunts for prey on the ground rather than in trees. “Prey” means animals that it hunts to kill and eat. But is does climb trees when it needs to. They can kill quite large prey such as buffalo calves. It is probably most active at night. Its feeds on lots of different animals: lizards, birds, rodents (for example rats), goats and sheep. This cat kills small animals with a bite to the back of the neck, which breaks the spinal cord.
They make sounds that domestic cats make such as meows, growls, spits and hisses. They will also make other sounds but people don’t know enough this cat yet to describe them.
The most danger comes from people. People sometimes kill this cat for its skin. Or they might chop down the forest where it lives leaving it without a home. People put down traps for other animals and the Asiatic golden cat gets caught in them. Farmers might kill this cat when it attacks their animals such as sheep or goats.
We don’t know. We do know that the total number in the world is going down because of the things that kill it or prevent it living.
There are very few of them in zoos. This cat does not like being in a zoo. It finds it hard to mate with another cat and have cubs. All the small wild cats don’t like living in a zoo.