The güiña cat is better known as the kodkod. The word “kodkod” is the Araucanian Indian name for this cat. In Argentina and Chile it is commonly called güiña. Genetically it is similar to Geoffroy’s cat. It is described as tiny although there are three wild cat species which are smaller: black-footed, flat-headed and rusty-spotted cats. The experts don’t know why cats in this part of the world are so small. Another small cat living not that far away is the Andean mountain cat. They both look like small domestic tabby cats with a slightly fierce demeanour and appearance. We can say, therefore, that the güiña cat is about the size of a tiny house cat. The table of weights that I have for this cat taken from Chile, Chiloé Island and Argentina range from 1.4 kg to 2.97 kg (3.1 pounds to 6.5 pounds) depending upon the sex of the animal. The head and body length in millimetres on average is around 480 mm (48 cms). The tail is about 230 mm in length (23 cms).
This cat’s coat is buff or grey-brown and heavily marked with small, round black spots. They also cover the belly. The tail is half the length of the head and body combined. It is described as a short tail and it is bushy and marked with a series of narrow black bands. I’m going to stick strictly to the topic which is the size of this wild cat species. As I have answered that question precisely I will conclude this short article. The source of information is that splendid book on the wild cat species: Wildcats of the World by Mel and Fiona Sunquist at pages 212 and 213. If you want full details of the papers and books please comment and I’ll respond in full.