Some wildlife are particularly admired. Undoubtedly, these include cats that amaze with their beauty, grace, and the ability to literally “catch on the fly” prey. One of their representatives is a wild marble cat.
Marble cat - who is it
A marble cat is a small wild animal from the subfamily of small cats. However, recently, scientists who studied animal DNA analyzes concluded that it is much closer to big cats - panthers, lions, etc. Perhaps this cat is the very link between the two subfamilies. Recently, there have been many versions that the marble cat and the lynx are close relatives. For the first time they learned about an animal in 1837. Its population today does not exceed 10,000 individuals.
In total, there are about 10 thousand individuals of a marble cat in the world
The marble cat is listed in Appendix I CITES, and it is forbidden to hunt it in:
- China (on the territory of Yunnan);
Table: marble cat's place in the classification
Description of the Marble Cat
The animal has a rather interesting color. Despite this, the structure is quite similar to its home relative.
A marble cat is a bit more domestic - it is longer and slimmer. The body length of a marble cat is 45–53 cm, weight - 4–8 kg. The coat color of the animal is gray-brown, with a brown tint. The whole body of young individuals is "strewn" with brown spots, usually disappearing after 4 months. On the back, crown and neck of the animal there are narrow longitudinal black stripes, and on the cat’s stomach there are solid dark spots. The belly itself is dark white or light gray. The cat's eyes are brown and the fur is soft and thick.
The animal is distinguished by a more rounded head in comparison with other representatives of the feline family. His legs are quite short, his legs are wide. The tail is long and very fluffy, roundish, with dark spots all over the back. Sometimes its length exceeds the length of the body of the animal.
The cat is quite friendly, non-aggressive. She is active, likes to constantly be in motion and climb trees.
A feature of a marble cat is climbing trees upside down, like a squirrel. Prior to this, such an ability was observed only in oncillas of the entire cat family.
A marble cat is able to climb upstairs like a squirrel
Marble cat lives in:
- northern India;
- peninsular Malaysia;
- in Sumatra and Borneo.
The stay of these cats was recorded from sea level to a height of 3 thousand m. Most often, the animal can be found in the following habitats:
- secondary forests;
- evergreen deciduous forests;
- six-year shrubs and forests;
Basically, it is recorded that animals lead a woody lifestyle. However, many researchers believe that it is much wider.
Favorite food of animals - birds and small mammals:
- rats and mice;
- wood squirrels;
- small primates.
These cats hunt mainly in trees. But on the island of Borneo, they can get food on the ground.
Marble cats live alone and create pairs only during the mating season. These animals do not have a specific time for it, but it happens once a year. At this time, the males meow loudly, urging the female to breed.
The cat prepares a den for posterity in the hollow of an old tree or a cave located in dense thickets of bushes. Pregnancy in a female is long in comparison with other cats - up to 85 days. Usually no more than four kittens are born. The weight of each of them at birth is no more than 100 g. For up to two months they feed on mother's milk, after which they leave the den and learn how to live independently. The role of the father in raising offspring for scientists remains a mystery. By the age of two, kittens become sexually mature.
At the age of two months, cubs of a marble cat prepare for independent life
Life in captivity
Marble cats are easily tamed if they are adapted to captivity in childhood. However, when they become adults, they can demonstrate their wild disposition or leave for their native jungle. These cats live in zoos in different countries, where there are about ten individuals. Under good conditions, they give birth to captive cubs. It is recommended to resettle them in spacious open-air cages having a difficult landscape and numerous shelters. However, it is quite difficult to see a marble cat at the zoo, as it leaves the shelter at night when there are no more visitors. In the future, zoologists plan to expand the population of this population due to reproduction in zoos, but so far no official program has been developed for this.
Zoologists plan to expand the size of the marble cat population due to the content in zoos
People living in the habitats of a marble cat sometimes bring this animal home. Many of these owners even managed to get cat hybrids from her home relative. Hybrids are viable, but rarely produce offspring.
Marble cats are prohibited from taking out of their habitats. However, sometimes some individuals still smuggle into Europe, where exotic animals are especially valued and in demand.
There is unconfirmed evidence that the marble cat is kept in private menageries of Russia. Such a stay of the animal is illegal, therefore it is not particularly advertised.
My friend brought an interesting photo of a marble cat from a Chinese zoo. And before that, she waited 2 days for this animal to appear from its shelter. As an employee of the zoo explained to her, mostly these animals sleep during the day, therefore it is difficult to see them. The next day, my friend went to the zoo closer to its closure - she hoped that at dusk she would be able to see the cat. And fortunately, she succeeded - the animal looked out of its shelter, pricked up its ears, stood for a couple of minutes and disappeared into its shelter. During this time, my friend managed to examine the cat and even photograph it.
Video: marble cat in the wild
A marble cat is a wild animal, slightly larger in size than its domestic relative. It is quite rare, well tamed, lives in zoos, where it can breed offspring. In general, the animal is peaceful, but still not allowed for home living.