Asian Leopard Cat

Ecology and Behaviour

GenerallyLowland tropical evergreen rainforest at sea level, farmland, prey more abundant in less arid habitats hence preference for cover and water
Himalayan foothillsMoist, temperate and dry coniferous forests at 1,000 t0 3,000 metres
ChinaTemperate subtropical and tropical habitat
Far east RussiaKnown as the “Amur Leopard”. Rivers and river valleys, forested ravines and coastal habitats. The cat accepts snow generally less than 10 cm deep.
Thailand – Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife SanctuaryMixed deciduous (shedding leaves) and dry evergreen forest
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The Asian leopard cat is active day or night. They are skilled climbers and semi-arboreal. They can rest up trees or on ground under cover.

As to prey the Asian leopard cat hunts and feeds on:

  • lizards
  • amphibians
  • small birds and wood mice (Pakistan)
  • insects
  • small ground living animals such as mice and rats (Java)
  • shrew and hares (Thailand)
  • rats, flying foxes, skinks (Iriomote Island)
  • fruit (see video below – eating water melon)

It would seem that the Asian leopard cat hunts similar prey and uses similar techniques to the domestic cat. Perhaps this is partly why it was chosen as the wild cat element in the hybrid Bengal cat. It hunts using sight and whiskers inflicting a nape (upper spine near the head) bite to severe the spinal cord. However there is little playing. The Asian leopard cat will immediately consume prey and the whole episode of spotting, hunting, catching, killing and completely devouring a rat for example might take under a minute.

Here is an interesting extract from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica (not subject to copyright, hence the quote) that includes reference to the Asian leopard cat: “The ranges of the Himalaya, from the border of Tibet to the plains, form a zoological region which is one of the richest of the world, particularly in respect to birds, to which the forest-clad mountains offer almost every range of temperature…..Bears are common, and so are a marten, several weasels and otters, and cats of various kinds and sizes, from the little spotted Felis bengalensis [note: this scientific name is incorrect], smaller than a domestic cat…. Clearly stating that the ALC is smaller than the domestic cat. “Dr Nehring came to the conclusion that the domesticated cat has a dual parentage, one from a domesticated Chinese cat (itself derived from a wild Chinese species) on the one hand, and from the Egyptian cat on the other. Two distinct types of so-called tabby cats are recognizable. In the one the pattern consists of narrow vertical stripes, and in the other of longitudinal or obliquely longitudinal stripes, which, on the sides of the body, tend to assume a spiral or sub-circular arrangement characteristic of the blotched tabby. This latter type appears to be the true “tabby”; since that word denotes a pattern like that of watered silk…….it may be suggested that the blotched tabby type represents Dr Nehring’s presumed Chinese element in the cat’s parentage, and that the missing wild stock may be one of the numerous phases of the leopard-cat (F. bengalensis), in some of which an incipient spiral arrangement of the markings may be noticed on the shoulder.” This would suggest interestingly, that the domestic tabby cat has some leopard cat in him already.

The area over which these cats operate (called a home range) is as follows:

Area – location – countryHome Range
Tabin (Malaysian Borneo)Mean range adult males: 3.5 km², females 2.1 km². Density of cats: 37.5 per 100 km²
ThailandMales: 7.5 km² and 5.4 km², females: 6.6 km² and 2.5 km². They change seasonally being larger when wet and less when dry and cold.

8 thoughts on “Asian Leopard Cat”

  1. All that I want, is a purebred Asian Leopard Cat ,….in the 9 1/2, 10 to pound range, for a ((pet))! I already have a Bangel and he has been a pet for about (14) years, so I know a ‘Bangle’, being called an Asian Leopard Cat, in my sleep, lol, lol. Both of my Cousins have Female Mountain Lions, as pets and one frequently lets his kids play around them, etc. No, I don’t want the ‘lecture’ about it,my mom also has a Tabby/Bobcat, from Tucson and I’m not going to tell you where the ornery brat’s at! All that I want is a ((purebred Asian Leopard Cat Cub or young Male)). any volunteers???????????????????????


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