The Chinese Mountain Cat
Scientific Name: Felis bieti
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
Weight: 14-20 pounds
The Chinese Mountain Cat resembles a large long-limbed domestic cat. The fur is light yellow-grey in winter, darkening to tawny or grey-brown in summer with pale rufous or yellow-white underparts. There are no strong markings except for a darkish, dorsal mid-line, and faint dark stripes, and blotches are often apparent on the lower limbs, sides, and nape, especially in the short summer coat. The tail is bushy and conspicuously banded with 3-6 dark rings and typically a dark tip; some individuals have a pale tip. The face has pale rufous streaks on the cheeks and forehead, and the ears are tipped with short tufts measuring 2-2.5cm.
The Chinese Mountain Cat understudied, however few studies have shown that small rodents, birds, and lagomorphs is about 90% of their diet. Himalayan Marmots, Woolly Hares, and Tolai Hares are common in their range, and are presumably also important prey.
Habitat and Distribution:
The Chinese Mountain Cat is found only in Central China on the rugged, north-eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai, Sichuan, and Gansu Provinces. They inhabit alpine grasslands, meadows, shrub-lands, and forest edges from 2,500-5,000m.
The Chinese Mountain Cat is a seasonal breeder, which is expected due to the very harsh winters in their range. Gestation lasts 56-68 days. Litter size is typically 2-4 kittens.