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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Usually compared to a leopard’s coat, with its rust-color and its spots, although there are often less than their big cat cousins.
Many people online expressed an interest in domesticating these animals, however, Danielle Miles, a wildlife researcher in Nevada explains why they shouldn’t:
“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.”
“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.”
“Perhaps the closest examples to the Rusty-spotted cat to draw upon are actually lemurs and other small primates.” continued Miles.
“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.”
“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.”
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.