Rusty-spotted cat size compared to domestic cat size

There is a fascination with the rusty-spotted cat because of its diminutive size. It is the smallest cat species in the world. It’s weight varies but on average it is somewhere around 1.2 kg or about 2.5 pounds. The weight of domestic cats varies a lot too, but on average, a healthy adult domestic cat probably weighs around 10 pounds. Therefore, a rusty spotted cat is about one quarter the weight of a standard domestic cat.

That doesn’t mean the size is one quarter the size of a domestic cat, but it probably does mean that in round terms. On this basis, I have created an image showing a rusty-spotted cat next to a domestic cat. I have estimated that the weight of the rusty spotted cat in this picture is about a quarter of that of the domestic cat. It has to be a visual estimate, which is exactly what I’ve done.

Rusty-spotted cat size compared to a domestic cat size
Rusty-spotted cat size compared to a domestic cat size. Image: MikeB based on images in the public domain.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

My reference work on the wild cat species, Wild Cats of the World, which was published in 2002, tells me that at that time there was not a lot of information about the weight of the rusty-spotted cat. That state of affairs might not have changed substantially over the intervening 20 years. They state that in Sri Lanka a couple of rusty spotted cats of unknown gender weighed 1.1 kg and 1.6 kg respectively. Three male rusty-spotted cats in captivity weighed between 0.8 kg and 1.1 kg. Finally, one captive female cat weighed about .9 of a kilogram.

The captive rusty-spotted cats were at the Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, USA. The Sri Lankan cats were recorded by W.W.A. Phillips who published his work Manual of the Mammals of Sri Lanka in 1984.

The largest domestic cat breed as you probably know by now is the Maine Coon. I have a page comparing the weights of the domestic cat breeds which may interest you which you can find by clicking on this link.

I also have some pages on the rusty spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus), links to which are listed below.

Because of its diminutive size, the rusty-spotted cat looks like it might make a good pet. There is one very cute photograph of it in the hands of a man which you can see by clicking on this link. No matter what their size, all wild cat species think they are tigers or lions. They have the heart and minds of the big cats.

RELATED: Wild cat species by size.

As kittens they will be cute and quite harmless but as adults even small wild cats can cause injury if mishandled. The sounds they make although described as similar to the sounds of domestic cats are distinctly different. They have, as expected, a wild tone and timbre.

And to quote Fiona Sunquist, the author of the above-mentioned book together with her husband Mel, “Despite the fact that they only weigh a few pounds, rusty-spotted cats are reputed to be extremely fierce”. One scientist, de Alwis said that “For it size, it is singularly vicious!”. This tiny cat is also fearless. When one of them walked into a room where there was a gazelle fawn it flew at the fawn the moment it saw it. It seized the fawn by the nape “and it was with difficulty taken off”. That description comes from T.C. Jerdon in 1874 who wrote: The mammals of India; a natural history of all the animals known to inhabit continental India.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

1 thought on “Rusty-spotted cat size compared to domestic cat size”

  1. So cute it’s like a kitten they never grew. I hope it always gets to remain wild and doesn’t end up trafficked which happens, look at the sugar glider or little tiny monkeys like the marmoset. People need to respect the wild things. 🙂

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