Catopuma temminckii

Asiatic golden cat

Catopuma temminckii

Asiatic golden cat

Description

The Asiatic golden cat has a beautiful, vivid colour of fur, falling into a reddish hue. There are also grey or black (melanistic) individuals. The hair is of medium length and usually does not have any clear pattern. There are, however, mottled specimens, most often in China.

Very visible and interesting pattern on its forehead, certainly attracts attention with its uniqueness. Some individuals also have it spilled onto the chest.

The large eyes of the Asiatic golden cat have round pupils and green or yellow irises. At their inner end there are white markings that can only be slightly longer than the bottom line of the eye, often reaching over the top line.

These cats have large, white, eye-catching spots on the cheeks, surrounded by darker lines, which the above-mentioned originates in the outer corner of the eye.

The background of white Asiatic golden cat’s whiskers constitute alternating dark and light stripes arranged horizontally. The lower jaw is always adorned with white fur.

The rounded ears are black at the back and have a white spot in the centre. It is believed to be used by felids to communicate with kittens.

The tail of the Asiatic golden cat has a black tip on the top, which is white underneath. The cat wears it horizontally to the ground, wrapping the tip up.

Paws very often have black fur mixed with the rest at the bottom, which gives it a smoky effect.

Behaviour

Asiatic golden cats like to be in forests, both those eternally green and those deciduous. They also like surroundings of stones and grass. They also appear on coffee and palm plantations.

They live in Asia, among others: in Nepal, China and Sumatra.

This golden cat likes to roam during the day and at dusk, but only in solitude. Asiatic golden cat males are very aggressive towards other members of their own species. Females have a certain amount of tolerance, because they have to raise their young.

The Asiatic golden cat is a territorial animal, signifying its home with a fragrance and communicating with others through a wide range of vocalizations. The Asiatic golden cat can growl, hiss and purr.

Asiatic golden cats can climb trees well, but it is suspected that they mainly hunt from the ground. Most often they kill large rodents, but also eat amphibians, reptiles, birds, and even small ungulates. Some Asiatic golden cats are not even afraid of the anger of water buffalos, hunting for their young. They also like poultry, considering farm animals.

Threats

The Asiatic golden cat, despite legal protection in most areas of distribution, is close to the threat of extinction and its population is decreasing. Most people do not realize it, because the Asiatic golden cat is a very little known species. It makes it valuable on the black market.

Unfortunately, like most wild animals, Asiatic golden cats suffer because of the decreasing number of wild areas on which they could live. People transform forests into fields and plantations, which also hurts cat victims.

People also contribute directly to the disappearance of Asiatic golden cats, hunting them for fur, bones and meat. Due to the fact that Asiatic golden cats like to attack farm animals, they are also killed in retaliation.

The Asiatic golden cat’s meat is considered a delicacy in some cultures, and some natives believe that it gives vitality and strength. Smoking the skin removed from the Asiatic golden cat is supposed to work like a tiger repellent.

It is believed that parts of the Asiatic golden cat have healing properties. Natural medicine is not an ally of the Asiatic golden cat and it can lead to a significant depletion of the population, as it happened with the tigers that first walked this path.

Author: Małgorzata Banaszkiewicz

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