Chinese Mountain Cat

Chinese Mountain Cat

Chinese desert cat, Chinese steppe cat

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Felis bieti
Population size
below 10,000
WEIGHT
6.5-9 kg
LENGTH
69-84 cm

The Chinese mountain cat is a small wild cat native to western China. It has sand-colored fur with dark guard hairs. Faint dark horizontal stripes on the face and legs are hardly visible. Its ears have black tips. It has a relatively broad skull and long hair growing between the pads of its feet. It is whitish on the belly, and its legs and tail bear black rings. The tip of the tail is black.

No

Nocturnal

Cr

Crepuscular

Ca

Carnivore

Te

Terrestrial

Cu

Cursorial

Pr

Predator

Al

Altricial

Po

Polygynandry

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

C

starts with

Distribution

Geography

Chinese mountain cat is found in China and lives on the north-eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. It was recorded only in eastern Qinghai and north-western Sichuan. It inhabits high-elevation steppe grassland, alpine meadow, alpine shrubland, and coniferous forest edges.

Chinese Mountain Cat habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Chinese mountain cats are solitary and prefer to live on their own. They are active at night and during the day sleep in sheltered burrows. Their burrows are usually located between the rocks or under boulders or it may be abandoned burrows of other animals such as marmots or badgers. Burrows inhabited by females are deeper and more protected than burrows of males, which have only one entrance. Chinese mountain cats hunt using their acute hearing; they listen for the movements of rodents through their underground tunnels and then dig them out.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Chinese mountain cats are carnivores and feed on pikas, various rodents, reptiles, and birds.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
January-March
PREGNANCY DURATION
60-75 days
BABY CARRYING
2-4 kittens
INDEPENDENT AGE
7-8 months
FEMALE NAME
queen
MALE NAME
tomcat
BABY NAME
kitten

Chinese mountain cats have a polygynandrous (promiscuous) mating system in which both the males and the females have multiple partners. The breeding season takes place between January and March. After the gestation period of 60-75 days, females give birth to 2-4 kittens in a secluded burrow where they are safe from predators. The young are born blind and helpless. They grow quickly and become independent at age of 7 to 8 months. Reproductive maturity is usually reached between 8 and 12 months of age.

Population

Population threats

The Chinese mountain cat is a rare animal and is in the top five most vulnerable cats in the world. It is threatened mainly due to the organized poisoning of pikas; the poison used diminishes prey species and also kills cats. Chinese mountain cats are also hunted for their fur which is used to create traditional hats.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Chinese mountain cat is fewer than 10,000 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.

References

1. Chinese Mountain Cat on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_mountain_cat
2. Chinese Mountain Cat on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/8539/50651398

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