What does the Geoffroy’s cat eat?

Let’s get one point clear at the outset. The name of this cat is “Geoffroy’s cat” not “geoffroy cat”. I understand the confusion because it’s quite a tricky name to remember. The cat is named after the French naturalist Geoffroy St Hilaire. It is also known as the “mountain cat”.

Geoffroy's Cat Facts For Kids
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Geoffroy’s Cat Facts For Kids

What Geoffroy’s cats eat

Information about the food habits of this small cat species is somewhat limited. However, it’s diet appears to consist largely of small rodents and birds. Hares also appear to be on the menu as the remains of one was recorded from the stomach of male cat collected in Uruguay.

In addition, the remains of fish, frogs, rodents, birds and coypu are found in the stomachs of this cat species. An analysis of 90 scats from cats in the Tornquist Provincial Park in Argentina tells us that in 80% of samples the remains of small mammals are present. In 50% of the scats the remains of birds were found.

In north-eastern Argentina, there is a record of a Geoffroy’s cat trying to carry a seriema into a tree at six in the morning. She failed to carry the bird into the tree but dragged it into a nearby burrow.


Seriema. Image: PoC.

Seriemas are large running birds that stand almost a metre high. Quite a large prey animal therefore. In north-western Argentina the diet of Geoffroy’s cat is predominantly hares and European rabbits. Cricetine rodents (a type of rodent classified as “cricetidae”) were eaten less often than expected as there were plenty of them.

Black Geoffroy's cat

Black Geoffroy’s cat. Photo: BCR video screenshot

Geoffroy’s cat is also a fishing cat. Fish and frog remains were found inside this cat from Uruguay and Brazil. In captivity Geoffroy’s cats readily fish for food and have no version to water. Local people sometimes refer to the cat as the “fishing cat” and they say that it eagerly enters water.

In Chile studies have found that Geoffroy’s cats feed extensively on hares. As a prey item they occurred in more than 50% of all scats examined out of a total of 325. The popularity of this prey animal varies according to the seasons. In spring they are found in 79% of scats and rodents were found in 18%. The remainding 3% were the remains of birds. In winter the percentage of hares in scats declined to 41% while the remains of rodents in scats increased to 50%. Nin percent were birds.

References: please ask me in a comment. Core source: Wild Cats of the World.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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