The bay cat is approximately the same size as a large domestic cat but with a longer tail (see wild cat species by size). This cat looks similar to, but is smaller than, the Asiatic golden cat. The bay cat has two “color phases” (a genetic variation in the color of the fur). In the photograph below you see the mahogany red coat on the back and flanks of the cat. The coat can also be “blackish gray”. The undersides of the cat are usually paler with faint spots on the belly and limbs.
As is the case for the African golden cat, it seems that nearly all of the markings and patterns are on the head and face. There are brush strokes of white on the insides of the eyes and just below the eyes. The whisker pads are white and dotted with rusty colored spots where whiskers sprout. The chin is white and there are two dark lines running away from the top of the eyes over the head. In the center of the head is another broken rusty line. There are lines on the cheeks too, set against the white background.
The hair on the back of the neck, sides of the crown, cheeks and “front of the throat” grows forwards. Clearly seen in the photograph is the white undersides of the tail. The ears are very small and set well down the sides of the head (in contrast to the large ears of serval). There are no ocelli on the flaps.
Bay cat description reference and quote: Wild Cats Of The World pages 49-50 ISBN-13: 978-0-226-77999-8.
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