The Marbled Cat
Scientific Name: Pardofelis marmorata
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
Weight: 5-11 pounds
The Marbled Cat is the size of a large, long bodied domestic cat covered with dense, soft fur that gives an overall larger appearance and with an extremely long, thickly furred tail. The tail is very long, sometimes exceeding the head-body length and is a very distinctive feature in the field. It has a relatively small, rounded head with a broad short face and rounded ears with a central white spot on the back. The paws are large and broad, likely reflecting the species’advanced arborealism. The background fur colour is variable, with various shades of grey-buff, yellow-brown or red-brown and is very richly patterned with large, dark-bordered blotches that graduate to small dabs on the legs. The tail is heavily patterned with large solid blotches along the length that sometimes form rings towards the tip.
The Marbled Cat is one of the least-studied fields and its ecology is very poorly known. The Marbled Cat’s morphology suggests a high degree of arborealism. Prey consists of small rodents, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. They are equipped to overpower larger prey such as canines and juvenile monkeys.
Habitat and Distribution:
The Marbled Cat occurs in a narrow tropical band south of the Himalayas from eastern Nepal through northern India, Bhutan and south-west China, and patchily throughout Indochina from northern Burma to the Malaysian peninsula, Borneo and Sumatra. Marbled Cats are restricted to forested habitats, chiefly undisturbed evergreen,deciduous and tropical forest from sea level to 3,000m in the Himalayan foothills.
Very poorly known with limited information available only from captivity. Gestation is 66-82 days, and litters average 1-2 kittens.