Geoffroy’s cat looks somewhat like a domestic tabby cat but with a higher contrast spotted tabby coat and stronger facial markings. They are about the same size as a domestic cat but their tails are a bit shorter and their heads are more flattened.
The backs of their ears are black with a white spot. The background colour of their coat varies from smoky grey to lion-coloured but there are many shades in between.
There is a variation in the coloration of their fur between the four subspecies together with a variation in size. Sometimes you will see a black Geoffroy’s cat. These are melanistic forms of this wild cat species and they are quite common apparently.
Melanism is due to a dominant autosomal allele. The belly fur is white or cream-coloured. And what is most noticeable about this cat’s coat is that it is covered in small black spots.
The experts say that the spots on the side and limbs of the cat tend to “coalesce into transverse bands”. In other words, was the spots join up to create a line or stripe.
The tale is ringed with dark bands and the cheeks are marked with two dark streaks. There are several dark lines on the crown of the head and the neck.
Fur traders believe that the coat is very attractive because after the bobcat Geoffroy’s cat was the world’s most frequently traded cat skin. In 1981, West Germany imported over 70,000 Geoffroy’s cat skins. In 1986 the European Union prohibited the import of Geoffroy’s cat from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
My research indicates that international trade in Geoffroy’s cat pelts is now prohibited under CITES Appendix I except for non-commercial purposes. And legislation was introduced in the 1980s which made hunting and the domestic trade of this cat’s pelt illegal in Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina.
There are some more articles on the Geoffroy’s cat below.