|Est. World Population:
|U.S. ESA Status:
||30 - 41 in
||17 - 22 in
||17 - 33 lbs
||Unknown in the Wild
||16 - 18 yrs in Captivity
||18 - 24 mo (Females)
||24 mo (Males)
||1 - 3
||91 - 95 days
Asian golden cats range in body length from 30 - 41 inches with males usually larger than females. The tail is about 1/2 - 2/3 the length of the body, measuring 17 - 22 inches. The pelage is of moderate length, dense, and coarse. The markings on the coats vary geographically. Colors of the fur vary from golden brown, to red, to grayish brown. The ventral surface of the tail is distinctly white, and is thought to be used for signalling. In the northern part of its distribution individuals have a spotted pattern on their bodies. Almost all golden cats have a pattern of black and white streaks marking their faces.
- South China
- Himalayas to Sumatra
- Southwest China Highlands
The Asian golden cat is found in dry deciduous forests, tropical rainforests, and occasionally open habitats with rocky areas.
Biomes: tropical rainforest, tropical deciduous forest, tropical savanna & grasslands
Oriental: The Asian golden cat is found throughout southeast Asia, from as far north as southern China, west to Nepal, east of Fukien in China, and south to Sumatra.
Breeding takes place in hollow trees, among rocks, or in hollows in the ground. Females have an estrous of 6 days, cycling every 39 days. Gestation lasts around 95 days. They produce a litter of 1 - 2 kittens, with kittens weighing about 1 oz at birth. The kittens double their weight by 3 weeks and triple it by 6 weeks. There is apparenlty no specific breeding season, and if one litter is lost another will be produced within 4 months. Males play an active role in rearing young. Females reach sexual maturity at 18 - 24 months while males reach sexual maturity at 2 years.
Food & Hunting:
Asian golden cats are carnivorous, with a diet of wild hares, small deer, birds, lizards, and other small animals. They have been known to kill sheep, goats, and buffalo calves. They often hunt in pairs when attempting larger prey.
Little is known about the behavior of the Asian golden cat. It is predominantly nocturnal, usually terrestrial, but capable of climbing trees. Local Thai tribesman say the golden cat is extremely fierce, however in captivity the cat has proven to be quite docile and obedient. It has been known to live up to 18 years in captivity; its longevity in the wild is unknown.
Deforestation and habitat destruction has caused a decline in the population of the Asian golden cat throughout much of its range. It is also threatened by hunting for the commercial sale of its pelts, meat, and bones.
The Asian golden cat was named after Coenraad Jacob Temminck, the Dutch naturalist who described the related species, the African golden cat. The Asian golden cat has several local common names given to it in different regions. The Thai name is "Seua fai," which translates into "fire tiger". It is believed by the local Thai villagers that by burning the fur of this cat when a tiger is near, the tiger will run away. Some villagers will cook the whole animal and then eat it to prevent animal attacks. Also, villagers believe that carrying a single hair of fur from the cat will keep tigers away.