Geoffroy’s Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi), is probably the most common wild cat in South America. The species inhabits the Andes, Pampas (scrubby forest parts), and Gran Chaco landscape.
Geoffroy’s Cat is about 24 inches long, has relatively long 12 inch tail and weighs only about 4″“9 pounds, though individuals up to 18 pounds have been reported. Its fur has black spots, but the background color varies from region to region. In the north, a brownish yellow coat is most common. Farther south, its coat are grayish. Melanism is quite common both in the wild and in captivity.
Geoffroy’s Cat primarily preys on rodents, small lizards, insects, and occasionally frogs and fish. It is at the top of the food chain. Although it appears to be plentiful, some conservationists are concerned because Geoffroy’s Cat is hunted extensively for its pelt. There have been attempts to breed this cat with domestic cats, but with very little success. Pregnant females appear to take extra care in choosing where they give birth to their kittens. Geoffroy’s Cat kittens develop very quickly and at about 6 weeks they are fully mobile.
The Geoffroy’s Cat is named after the 19th century French zoologist Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire who identified Geoffroy’s Cat as a different species when he studied his work as a professor of zoology in Paris, France.