Are jaguarundis nocturnal?

Jaguarundi in its biome
Jaguarundi in its biome. Photo in public domain.
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Are jaguarundis nocturnal? No, they are not exclusively nocturnal. Jaguarundis have been recorded moving around and hunting at all times of the day and night (sources: 1, 2 and 3).

However, it appears that this strange looking wild cat prefers to hunt by day (diurnal). The cat’s uniform coat indicates a ‘more diurnal lifestyle’ compared to the spotted cats (sources: 4, 5 and 6).

A study by MJ Konecny of radio-tagged jaguarundi in the wild found that they are mainly active in the daytime (source 7). The jaguarundis studied in the Cockscomb Basin, Belize, became active at dawn (04:00) and remained active until sunset at about 18:00. Their hunting activity peaked at around 11 am.

A study in Mexico confirmed that 85% of jaguarundi activity occurred during the daytime (source: 8).


1. The Mammals of Suriname by AM Husson. Published by Leiden EJ Brill in 1978
2. Biology Survey of Texas by V Bailey. Published by North American Fauna No.25: 1-222 in 1905
3. Wildlife of Mexico by AS Leopold. Published by University of California Press in 1959.
4. Wild Cats of the World by CA Guggisberg. Published by Taplinger (New York) in 1975.
5. The Wild Cats by ER Ricciuti. Published by Ridge Press, Were, Netherlands in 1979
6. Size Ratios Among Sympatric Neotropical Felids by RA Kiltie. Published by Oecologia 61 pages 411-416 in 1984.
7. Movement patterns and food habits of four sympatric carnivore species in Belize, Central America by MJ Konecny. Published in Advances in Neotropical Mammalogy pages 243-264, by Sandhill Crane Press, Gainesville, Florida, 1990.
8. Home range and activity patterns ocelot, jaguarundi and coatimundi in Tamaulipas, Mexico by A Caso and ME Tewes. This was an abstract from the Southwestern Association Naturalists 43rd annual meeting in McAllen, Texas, USA 1996.


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