Rusty spotted cats are one of the two smallest cats in the world (the other being the black footed cat). There are two races of rusty spotted cat, one in India and the other in Sri Lanka, both are extremely rare. This cat has short, brownish-grey fur tinged with a rufous colour. The face is marked with two dark streaks on each cheek and four dark stripes extending from above the eyes backward between the ears and to the shoulders. The back and flanks are marked with elongated blotches of rust-brown and spots that pattern the fur. The cat’s belly, chest, and throat are white and marked with large dark spots and bars. The ears are small and rounded.
Very active and agile, this cat is small, but extremely fierce. It is primarily nocturnal, resting in dense cover during the daytime. The cat feeds on birds, small mammals, and possibly on insects, lizards, and frogs. It most likely hunts on the ground, using its superb climbing abilities to escape predators.
The rusty-spotted cat is not an adaptable species. Relatively little information on its wild status is known. The cat is threatened by habitat loss and by humans who kill them after mistaking them for baby leopards.
India and Sri Lanka
Forests, grasslands, shrublands and rocky areas
Lizards, birds, small mammals, insects