Asia / North Africa
|Est. World Population:
|U.S. ESA Status:
||19 - 30 in
||9 - 12 in
||10 -13 in
||8 - 35 lbs
||12 - 14 yrs in the Wild
||Unknown in Captivity
||18 - 24 mo (Females)
||18 - 24 mo (Males)
||3 - 5
||62 - 66 days
Head and body length of Felis chaus ranges from 19 - 30 inches and tail length from 9 - 12 inches. The pelage is generally sandy gray to tawny brown and lacks distinct markings on the body. The tail has several dark rings and a black tip and the ears have black tufts. Felis chaus has the longest legs in proportion to body size of any felid in Indochina, suggesting their ability to chase down prey.
- South India, Sri Lanka
- North India, Pakistan
Felis chaus is found in a wide variety of habitats. Typically, they inhabit wet grasslands and reed thickets near stagnant or slowly flowing water. Although some populations reside in dry areas, F. chaus is never far from a pool of water (Parker, 1990). Jungle cats live at elevations between sea level and 7900 feet (Nowak, 1991).
Biomes: tropical rainforest, tropical deciduous forest, tropical scrub forest, desert
Felis chaus inhabits Asia and North Africa, including Indochina, Thailand, Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Mesopotamia, and North Egypt. Afghanistan and Transcapia define the northern border of its range (Parker, 1990).
Felis chaus has a polyestrous reproductive cycle. In central Asian populations mating activity is most intense during February and March, but kittens have been observed year round (Macdonald, 1995). Sexual maturity is achieved at 1.5 to 2 years of age, and gestation takes 66 days. Usually, a litter consists of 3-5 young (Parker, 1990).
Food & Hunting:
Felis chaus preys on hares and other small mammals, ground birds, snakes, lizards and frogs. They actively hunt during both the day and night, though some consider it a diurnal species (Parker, 1990). Like all members of Felis, they feed while in a crouched position, unlike larger felids (MacDonald, 1995).
Like most felids, Felis chaus are solitary animals. They are active both day and night and den in thick vegetation or in the abandoned burrows of badgers, foxes, or porcupines (Nowak, 1991). When resting they twist the forefeet at the wrist joint and tuck them under the body (MacDonald, 1995). Competitors include leopards, wolves, red dogs, and hyenas (Parker, 1990).
Populations of Felis chaus do not appear to be currently threatened.
Many small, wild members of Felis have not received much scientific attention, so little is known about the specifics of their biology (MacDonald, 1995).