The rusty-spotted cat has a highly ticked coat. This is cat fancy language for the agouti banding of color within the individual hair strands. The Abyssinian, a domestic cat breed, is well known for a ticked coat as is the wildcat jaguarundi.
It is probably the world’s smallest species of cat. The fur is gray “tinged with a rufus color”. The face has two rusty colored streaks on each cheek and on the forehead there are two strong rusty lines with two inner lines of lower contrast that run from the eye, between the ears to the top of the head and to the shoulders. Throughout the upper parts of the body – the back and flanks – there is rusty, streaky spotting or blotches.
The belly, chest and throat are white as is the area between the cheek stripes. The white areas of the belly, chest and throat are marked with “large dark spots and bars”. Although blotched with dark rusty dots, the whisker pads are white as are the areas to the left and right of the nose and under the eyes.
The eyes are extremely large in relation to head size; similar to those of the margay. This indicates living and hunting in a dark (forest) environment and nocturnal activity. They are said to inhabit grassland and arid shrub-lands as well as forest, however.
The ears are small and the paw pads are black. The tail is approximately half the length of head+body.
Rusty-spotted cat description – references and quotes:
Wild Cats Of The World page 238, ISBN-13: 978-0-226-77999-7
Rusty-spotted cat description to another small cat, the Black-footed cat– both are fierce!
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