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Meet The Rusty Spotted Cat – The World’s Smallest And Cutest Feline (13 Pics)

The rusty-spotted cat rivals the black-footed cat for the smallest cat in the world title, and it’s believed to just about edge the victory

This Is The World's Tiniest Wild Cat, And It Might Be The Cutest Thing You'll See Today
BBC

Coming in at 35-48cm in length, with a tail stretching between 15 to 30cms and weighing between 0.9 to 1.6kgs, these cats really are tiny.

These unusual cats are found in the forests of Southern Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, and India.

This Is The World's Tiniest Wild Cat, And It Might Be The Cutest Thing You'll See Today
BBC

These tiny cats, which can easily fit into a human palm, are nocturnal, and therefore spend most of their living when the sun goes down.

Rusty-spotted cats are usually found hiding in spots such as caves and trees to avoid the larger predators in the area.

This Is The World's Tiniest Wild Cat, And It Might Be The Cutest Thing You'll See Today
BBC

If they’re not hiding, they’re often hunting. Their meal of choice is rodents and birds, however, they’re known to eat smaller prey like lizards and insects.

This Is The World's Tiniest Wild Cat, And It Might Be The Cutest Thing You'll See Today
BBC

Often referred to as the ‘cutest cat in the world,’ much of the species’ cuteness comes from its tiny size and well as its stunning coat.

This Is The World's Tiniest Wild Cat, And It Might Be The Cutest Thing You'll See Today
BBC

Usually compared to a leopard’s coat, with its rust-color and its spots, although there are often less than their big cat cousins.

This Is The World's Tiniest Wild Cat, And It Might Be The Cutest Thing You'll See Today
BBC

Many people online expressed an interest in domesticating these animals, however, Danielle Miles, a wildlife researcher in Nevada explains why they shouldn’t:

This Is The World's Tiniest Wild Cat, And It Might Be The Cutest Thing You'll See Today
BBC

“An easy way to predict the outcome of people buying rusty-spotted cats is to look at the fate other species have had to face from these scenarios.”

Rusty-Spotted Cat: Meet the Smallest Exotic Cat in the World

“How many other wild cat species, bears, alligators, and the like have had domestication attempts only to land hundreds to thousands of animals in rescues living incomplete lives as they cannot re-acclimate to a free life.”

Turning the Spotlight on Asia's Smallest Feline—the Elusive Rusty-Spotted  Cat! - One Green Planet

“Perhaps the closest examples to the Rusty-spotted cat to draw upon are actually lemurs and other small primates.” continued Miles.

The Rusty-Spotted Cat – Critter Science

“People are attracted to the idea of species like these as pets because they are cute and intelligent, and their size makes them seem manageable and less dangerous.”

The Rusty Spotted Cat is the world's smallest species of feline. : r/aww

“Yet, the truth is that these situations do not work out and the animals end up being euthanized or if lucky, put in a rescue like Lemur Island.”

Meet the world's smallest wild cat: the rusty spotted cat (Gallery)

Here’s a video of this cat in its natural habitat:

The rusty-spotted cat is listed as a near-threatened species by the IUCN due to the decline of its natural habitat, the deciduous forests.

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Written by Joe Kahlo