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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Chinese Mountain Cat

The Chinese Mountain Cat (Felis bieti), also known as the Chinese Desert Cat, is a small wild cat of western China. This cat is distributed throughout Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan. It inhabits sparsely-wooded forests and shrub lands, and is occasionally found in true deserts. It can live in environments as much as 10,000 feet in elevation.

Except for the color of its fur, this cat resembles a European Wildcat in its physical appearance. It is 27-33 inches long, with an 11.5-16 inch tail. The adult weight can range from 10 to 20 lbs. The fur is sand-colored, the underside is whitish, legs and tail bear black rings. In addition there are pallid vertical bars, which may be hardly visible.

The Chinese Mountain Cat is active at night (nocturnal). It hunts for rodents, pikas and birds. This cat is protected in China, but it is still endangered due to the organized poisoning of pikas, its main prey. These poisonings either kill the cats unintentionally, or withdraw their food basis.

Chinese Mountain Cat