Thursday 31 March 2011

Smallest Wild Cat

Smallest wild cat: rusty-spotted cat from Indian and Sri Lanka

The smallest wild cat is the rusty-spotted cat. According to the renown book on the wildcat species, Wild Cats Of The World the minimum size of this cat is 0.8 kg and the maximum size is 1.6 kg. That is 1.7 lbs to 3.53 lbs.

Even at the maximum size the rusty-spotted cat is the same size as the smallest of the domestic cats, called teacup cats or miniature cats.

Below are the vital statistics taken from another PoC page: Rusty-spotted cat where you can read a lot more about this tiny cat.

Characteristic Measurement
Length of head+body 35-48 centimetres (14-17 inches)
Average weight (approximate) 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs)
Average weight females 1 kg (2.2 lbs)
Average domestic cat weight – for comparison 8-10 lbs
Average weight of miniature domestic cat for comparison 3.5 lbs
Average weight of Black-footed Cat – for comparison 3.5 lb

Its size makes you wonder if it has been domesticated. People like small cats. However, it is not advised to domesticate a genuine wildcat in my opinion. You'll probably have difficulty coping, become disappointed and it will not be fair on the cat either. The rusty-spotted cat is said to be, "not an adaptable species"1. However 100 years ago two naturists kept rusty-spotted cats as pets. They tame easily apparently. They were acquired as kittens, however. They were active pets blessed with great agility and grace they said.

They can live in abandoned houses within their range. They are frequently killed by local people (Indians and Sri Lankans). They are mistaken for baby leopards and killed. I suppose this is to protect farm livestock. Pretty dumb though as the rusty-spotted cat is no threat to farm livestock. Or perhaps they can prey of hens and the like.

Despite their tiny size they are "extremely fierce"1 and it seems fearless.

The smallest wild cat is found in India and Sri Lanka.

For the sake of completeness on wild cat species sizes, here they all are:


1. Wild Cats Of The World - Page 239.

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