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The leopard cat has physical characteristics in common with many other small wildcats. Often wildcats have strong patterns on their coats. The facial markings are particularly impressive. The undersides are often paler or white. While there are spots on the flanks they sometimes merge on the upper part of the back lower part of the limbs and neck. This wild cat has an impressive coat, which sadly leads to its persecution by hunters who desire its skin for commercial profit. Apparently in China in 1963, 230,000 cats where killed for their skin. Japan buys many of these skins.
The leopard cat is about the same size as a domestic cat but as you can see it is considerably wilder in appearance and it is also more slender. The leopard cat is a very independent cat, unsuited to domestication. Its head is small relative to the body.
Leopard cats in the north of its distribution – in the far east of Russia – are much larger (9 kgs) than those in the south, in Sumatra (2.5 kg). However, the weights of leopard cats varies with the seasons and availability of prey.
In addition the cats in the north are a “pale silvery gray”¹ compared to the brownish coat color of the cats in the south. Coat texture, undertandably varies too. The leopard cat has a longer, fuller coat in the north.
One of the most noticeable aspects of the leopard cat is its very wide range:
View Leopard Cat Range 2009 in a larger map
Accordingly, its prey is also wide ranging from insects to fawn deer. Mice would seem to be the mainstream prey in Thailand and Japan. Read more..
(1) Wild Cats of the World page 226 ISBN-13: 978-0-226-77999-7