Rusty-spotted Cat

The rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus, sometimes Felis rubiginosa) is a very small wild cat of southern India and Sri Lanka. It is 13.78 to 18.9 in (35 to 48 cm) long, plus 5.91 to 9.84 in (15 to 25 cm) tail, weighing in at only approximately 3.3 lb (1.5 kg). The color of the fur is grey, with rusty spots all over the back and the flanks. The underbelly is white with large dark spots. The tail is thick and about half the length of the body. It is darker in color than the body and the spots are less distinct. All in this entire cat is quite similar to the related leopard cat.

The Indian populations of rusty-spotted cats mainly live in tropical dry forests and dry grasslands. In Sri Lanka, rainforests are the preferred habitat. The reason for this difference may be the competition with the Leopard Cat, which occupies the rainforests of the mainland. The leopard cat does not live in Sri Lanka.

These cats are nocturnal and partly arboreal. They feed on rodents, birds and lizards. Their nature is described as friendly and playful, making them conducive for domestication as pets. Local human populations also hunt them for food in some areas.

The rusty-spotted cat faces a high risk of extinction in the wild and is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.