List of gestation periods for the small wild cat species

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The number of days a female cat is pregnant is called the gestation period. For domestic cats it ranges from 60 to 70 days. The period varies for the small wild cat species. Here is a list. It is nearly complete. The problem is that even today we are uncertain about the behavior and physiology of some small cat species. The gestation periods range from around 59 days to 92 days. The average is about 75 days. Gestation period is proportional to body weight. The smallest cats have the shortest pregnancies. The average number of cubs/kittens in a litter is half the number of the mother’s nipples. Some of this information is from observing captive cats.

Small cat speciesGestation period
1Andean mountain catunknown (please comment)
2African golden cat75
3Asiatic golden cat75-80
4Bay catunknown
5Black-footed cat63-68
6Bobcat60-70
7Canada lynx63-70
8Caracal68-81
9Clouded leopard85-95
10Clouded leopard (Sunda)85-95
11Domestic cat60-70
12Eurasian lynx63-74
13Flat-headed catUnknown
14Fishing cat63-70
15Geoffroy’s cat62-67
16Guigna (kodkod)unknown
17Iberian lynx63-73
18Jaguarundi60-75
19Jungle cat63-66
20Leopard cat63-72
21Marbled cat66-82
22Margay76-84
23Ocelot79-82
24Pallas’s cat66-75
25Pampas cat70
26Rusty-spotted cat66-70
27Sand cat59-66
28Serval67-77
29Tigrina (oncilla)75-76
30Wildcat63-70
List of gestation periods for the small wild cat species – Source: Small Wild Cats by Sanderson and Watson.

A couple of notes about the the list above. You will notice that there are some blank spaces, in effect, which is because we still don’t know all there is to know about the small wild cat species. That might sound remarkable because there have been great advances in science and understanding flora and fauna. But there are gaps despite the fact that our knowledge of the cats has advanced significantly over the past 50 years when nothing was known about the bay cat, the kodkod and the Andean mountain cat except from skins in museums! Or the occasional stuffed specimen. Big advances but still some gaps.

Also, you will note that there are 30 small wild cat species including the domestic cat but you will also see some websites stating that there are 33 small wild cat species. That’s because the science of taxonomy in relation to felids is still in dispute after a hundred or more years.

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