Clouded Leopard

This article is over several pages for technical reasons with links at the base of each section to the next page.


clouded leopard
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

With the margay, the clouded leopard is probably the best tree climber of all the wildcats. It is a forest dwelling cat. It also has a coat, that resembles cloud formations, which is unrivaled in its beauty. Both its coat and the excessive logging of virgin forests threatens the existence of this species in the wild (considered Vulnerable by the IUCN Red ListTM). This wildcat has two other outstanding features: its tail is very long, nearly as long and head+body combined, and its canine teeth are also exceptionally long at 4 cms.

The clouded leopard is found in Eastern and Southeastern Asia. The scientific name is: Neofelis nebulosa. Its prey both lives in trees (monkeys) and on the ground (deer). This page emphasises conservation, the most important topic for all wildcats. The photographs – except of the Savannah cat – are published under a creative commons license.

clouded leopard-1


There are in fact two species. The other species Neofelis diardi is thought to be restricted to the islands of Sumatra and Borneo1 while this species, N. nebulosa, occupies mainland Southeast Asia.

The name of N. diardi is “Sunda Clouded Leopard”. Other names for the species found on Borneo and Sumatra are:

  • Enkuli Clouded Leopard
  • Sunda Islands Clouded Leopard
  • Sundaland Clouded Leopard

Recent uniquely public footage of the Sundaland clouded leopard on Malayasian Borneo is shown below and on this page.


The number of articles about this wildcat and the number of photographs of it are a reflection of how popular this cat is because of its stunning appearance. This really is, possibly, the best looking wildcat, which is why its survival in the wild is endangered

This is not a big cat in the same category as the lions and tigers, the classic big cats. The Clouded leopard is a lot smaller. The best way to show the size is in scale with a person (please see the picture below left).

Described as medium sized; I’d tend to say medium-small as this cat is 2-3.5 feet long and weighs between 25-50 lbs (up to 23 kgs).

In fact it is midway between the small cats such as the Kodkod and Asian Golden Cat, for instance, and the big cats such as the tiger.

Compare this with the biggest big cat, the man made hybrid, the Liger at 900 lbs or one of the the biggest domestic cats, a wild cat hybrid the Savannah at 25 lbs.

Although relatively small, the Clouded leopard is decidedly more muscular than the domestic Savannah, which is the classic difference between domestic and wild cats.

clouded leopard

Two particular characteristics of this leopard stand out for me, the very long tail and long canine teeth (at 2″ the longest apparently of all cats – the extinct Saber Tooth tiger had 7″ canine teeth). The Clouded leopard tail is long for a reason; to provide balance whilst climbing trees to hunt prey, which are themselves fantastic climbers such as Gibbons and Macaques. Other prey are a wide range of animals including, small deer, cattle, birds, fish, chicken and squirrels. The tail (as the picture to the right shows) is about the same length as the body. The large paws (see large picture) also help with climbing. It seems that this cat spends a lot of time living in trees and is one of the best climbers amongst cats. It would also seem that a lot of what we know about this cat comes from observation of captive cats.

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