Clouded Leopard.

9 Fascinating Facts About Wild Cats

Did you know that Clouded leopards are also known as tree tigers? Have you ever heard of Rusty-spotted cats, Flat-headed cats and Asiatic golden cats?


Ready to play feline Trivial Pursuit? Here are nine things you might not have known about wild cats around the world.

The Flat-headed Cat.
The Flat-headed Cat. Photography ©Warmlight | Getty Images.
  1. Asiatic golden cats, hailing from Southeast Asia, come in coats of many colors, ranging from golden to dark brown, pale cinnamon, bright red, gray and black.
  2. Clouded leopards are known as tree tigers in Malaysia for their habit of resting in treetops.
  3. Fishing cats can swim underwater for long distances and often hunt in shallow water for fish, waterfowl and other aquatic prey.
  4. The Flat-headed cat, one of the stranger-looking members of the cat family, has a long and narrow head, a flattened forehead, pointy teeth that face backward for grasping slippery prey, webbed toes and claws that do not retract fully.
  5. Jungle cats enjoy swimming and fishing, and Egyptian wall paintings depict them hunting birds and small mammals.
  6. Kodkod females nest in trees, and their kittens grow up playing in the treetops, learning to become accomplished climbers.
  7. The Marbled cat has a round, bushy tail that is often longer than the cat’s head and body, helping these arboreal cats maintain their balance as they make their way through the trees.
  8. The smallest wildcat species in the world are Rusty-spotted cats in India and Sri Lanka, Black-footed cats in Africa and the Kodkod in South America.
  9. Two wildcats, the Sunda Clouded Leopard and the Margay, have flexible ankle joints that enable them to climb down trees head-first, a feat that is difficult — if not impossible — for most other cats because their claws curve toward the back.

Thumbnail: Photography ©inhauscreative | Getty Images.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.

About the author

Kim Campbell Thornton has written about cats and dogs for 32 years. She is the award-winning author of more than two dozen books and hundreds of articles on pet care, health and behavior.

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