The Asian (Asiatic) golden cat is a Near Threatened small wild cat that inhabits Southeastern Asia in regions such as Bhutan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Tibet, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. The cat is named after zoologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck, who was the director of the National Natural History Museum at Leiden (The Netherlands) during the 1800s.
About the Asiatic Golden Cat
There are three subspecies of Asian golden cat, the Pardofelis temminckii temminckii (Himalayas, Southeast Asian and Sumatra), Pardofelis temminckii dominicanorum (southeast China) and Pardofelis temminckii tristis (southwest China).
Asian golden cats, known in Thailand and Burma as the “fire cat” and in parts of China as the “rock cat,” are medium-sized with a stocky build. They are the second largest group of Asiatic felines. The cat’s body is from 26 to 41 inches in length, and their tail is 16 to 22 inches long. Asian golden cats can weigh up to 35 lbs. In a 2005 Thailand field study, a captured male cat weighed 29.7 lbs. and a female cat weighed 17.4 lbs. The Asiatic golden cat is heavier than the African golden cat, with a longer tail.
The cat’s fur varies in color from light cinnamon to shades of brown, as well as gray and black (melanistic). Some cats have spotted and striped markings, similar in appearance to an ocelot. Stripes can also be found on the cat’s cheeks and head. The ears of the Asian golden cat are black on the outside and grey on the inside. The underside of the cat is usually white.
African golden cats establish their territories primarily in forests, including tropical and subtropical rainforests, and occasionally grasslands. They can also be found in rocky areas. The cat can be found in elevations from approximately 3,600 feet to over 11,500 feet above sea level.
The African golden cat leads a solitary life, hunting rodents, reptiles, rodents, birds, and smaller mammals (young water buffalo and sambar deer) and domestic livestock (goats, sheep and poultry). The cat was once considered nocturnal, but camera traps have recorded the Asiatic golden cat active during the daytime.
The females reach sexual maturity after 1 ½ to 2 years. A mother’s litter typically consists of one to three kittens.