Asiatic Golden Cat
The Asiatic Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii, or Profelis temminckii, or Felis temminckii), also called Temminck’s Golden Cat, is a medium-sized wild cat weighing from 26.46 to 35.27 lb (12 to 16 kg). In captivity golden cats can live up to 20 years, but their average lifespan in the wild is likely far shorter. While the fur is mostly foxy red or golden brown, black or grey color variants may also be found. The coat is plain, except for some spots on the underside, and sometimes very faint spotting on the rest of the coat. However, in China there is a color variant with leopard-like spots, which resembles a Leopard Cat.
Distribution & Habitat
Asiatic Golden Cats live throughout Southeast Asia, ranging from Tibet and Nepal to Southern China and Sumatra. It prefers forest habitats interspersed with rocky areas. It is found in deciduous, subtropical evergreen, and tropical rainforests. Golden cats are occasionally found in more open terrain. They range from the lowlands to altitudes of up to 3000 meters in the Himalayas.
Not much is known about this rather elusive predator, and most of what is known about it has been found out in captivity. Previous observations suggested that it golden cats are primarily nocturnal. They are thought to be primarily solitary. As far as vocalizations go, they can hiss, spit, meow, purr, growl, and gurgle. Other methods of communication observed in captive golden cats include scent marking, urine spraying, raking trees and logs with claws. They rub their heads against various objects.
The golden cat prefers to hunt on the ground, but does climb when it needs to. When hunting, they use a stalk and rush method typical of felines. It is known to hunt birds, lizards, rodents, other small mammals, and the occasional small or young deer. It seems to be fairly adaptable in its diet. The golden cat has been reported to hunt in pairs when pursuing larger animals. In captivity, they pluck the feathers of larger birds before eating them. There have been reports of the golden cat scavenging, a behavior not commonly seen in felines. Rarely, they hunt near human settlements or prey on livestock.
Everything known about golden cat reproduction has been figured out from observations of them in captivity. They become sexually mature at anywhere from eighteen to twenty-four months of age. Their pregnancy period lasts about 80 days. Their litters usually consist of only one kitten. Kittens are born in the hollows of trees, rock crevices, and possibly in hollows and other sheltered places on the ground. The pelts of kittens are thicker and slightly darker, but with the pattern they will keep for their entire life. Based on what has been seen in captivity, it is thought that males take an active role in rearing the young.