Some Answers to Questions about the Ocelot

Ocelot Resting

Ocelot Resting. Photo by Jeremy Keith on Flickr

I am going to answer the following questions about the ocelot:

  • Do ocelots live in groups?
  • Do ocelots live in Texas?
  • Do ocelots sleep?
  • Do ocelots swim?
  • Do ocelots live in the rainforest?
  • Do ocelots growl?
  • Do ocelots make good pets?
  • Do ocelots live in the Amazon?

These questions are asked on the internet.


Ocelots are solitary animals. Ocelots hunt alone. However, a male ocelot may cross paths with females within his range. Adult males and females come together to mate. Rarely an adult male and female might come together for several hours outside mating periods. Independent young ocelots have also been known to associate with their parents.


In 2002 a reliable source states that there were 82-120 in southern Texas. They live in Mexico, some miles south of the border but it might be reasonable to presume that some ocelots migrate to southern Texas. In fact, the IUCN Red List states that the ocelot is in southern Texas. Obviously there will be very few and therefore very difficult to see.


Yes, ocelots do sleep like all animals. They will sleep in a similar way to the domestic cat in my opinion. They hunt at night as most of their prey is nocturnal but also during the day. Therefore they will sleep both during the day and at night in a safe place.


Ocelots are strong swimmers. Their movements are not inhibited or obstructed by water. They can live in seasonally flooded environments.


Ocelots are found in a wide range of tropical and subtropical habitats. These habitats include tropical evergreen forest and semi-deciduous forest. They also live in dry thorn forest, flooded savannah and mangrove. We can also see them in second-growth woodlands and sometimes an abandoned cultivated areas which has converted to brush.


I don’t have a definitive answer as to whether the ocelot growls but I would expect the answer to be yes. The ocelot also has a number of friendly close range vocalisations which includes a yowling call when mating.


Ocelots do not make good pets. They are too wild. You could not describe a semi-domesticated ocelot as a pet. It would be more like living with a semi-wild animal. I have read stories from people who have looked after a first filial small wildcat hybrid (half wildcat and half domestic cat) and they have found it very difficult to live with these animals even though they were meant to be domesticated.


The answer is, yes, ocelots do live in the Amazon.

Source: Myself and Wild Cats of the World by the Sunquists.

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