Basic Information

Scientific Name Felis chaus
Class Mammalia
Phylum Chordata

The jungle cat is the largest of the extant Felis species. It has a small tuft on the ears, a comparatively short tail, and a distinct spinal crest. Because of its long legs, short tail and tuft on the ears, the jungle cat resembles a small lynx. The face is relatively slender. Fur colour varies with subspecies, yellowish-grey to reddish-brown or tawny-grey, and is ticked with black. Vertical bars are visible on the fur of kittens, which disappear in adult cats, although a few dark markings may be retained on the limbs or tail.


They inhabit savannas, tropical dry forests and reedbeds along rivers and lakes in the lowlands, but, despite the name, are not found in rainforests. Although they are adaptable animals, being found even in dry steppe, they prefer wetland environments with tall grasses or reeds in which to hide. They do not survive well in cold climates, and are not found in areas where winter snowfall is common.


Jungle cats are solitary in nature. They rest in other animals' abandoned burrows, tree holes, and humid coves under swamp rocks, or in areas of dense vegetation. Although often active at night, they are less nocturnal than many other cats, and in cold weather may sun themselves during the day. They have been estimated to travel between 3 and 6 kilometres (1.9 and 3.7 mi) per night, although this likely varies depending on the availability of prey.Jungle cats can climb trees. Like most cats, they use not only sight and hearing while hunting, but also their sense of smell. While running, they tend to sway from side to side. 

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