The Marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) is a small wild cat that lives in mountainous areas of Asia. The Marbled cat is closely related to the Asian golden cat and the Bay cat, all of which diverged from other felids about 9.4 million years ago.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
A mesopredator is a medium-sized predator in the middle of a trophic level, which typically preys on smaller animals. When populations of apex pred...
Scansorial animals are those that are adapted to or specialized for climbing. Many animals climb not only in tress but also in other habitats, such...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Marbled cat is similar in size to a domestic cat, but has rounded ears and a very long tail that is as long as the cat's head and body. The ground colour of its long fur varies from brownish-grey to ochreous brown above and greyish to buff below. It is patterned with black stripes on the short and round head, on the neck and back. On the tail, limbs and underbelly it has solid spots. On the flanks it has irregular dark-edged blotches that fuse to dark areas and look like a 'marbled' pattern. Its paws are webbed between the digits and are completely sheathed. Its coat is thick and soft. Spots on the forehead and crown merge into narrow longitudinal stripes on the neck, and irregular stripes on the back. The legs and underparts are patterned with black dots, and the tail is marked with black spots proximally and rings distally. It has large feet and unusually large canine teeth, resembling those of the big cats, although these appear to be the result of parallel evolution.
Marbled cats live in Nepal and northern India, south-eastern Asia, Borneo and Sumatra. They occur in mixed deciduous-evergreen forest, clearings, secondary forest, rocky scrub and six-year-old logged forest.
There is very little knowledge about the biology and behavior of Marbled cats, except from observations in captivity. They are thought to be nocturnal and solitary, although recent studies show activity during day as well as night. They are territorial animals and their home range usually covers a territory the size of 2.2 square miles. The Marbled cat is characterized as being very active, with a great capacity to climb and jump. Their front feet have webbed and flexible paws which feature heel pads that are twice as wide as their length. Their claws are retractable and are double-sheathed, so they are well suited for climbing. Marbled cats are comfortable on the ground as well. Their behavior and morphology indicates that these are semi-arboreal animals. Like the domestic cats, marbled cats have been seen purring. Their meow has been compared to chirping instead of a more continuous sound inflection. These cats rely heavily on their vision, which in low light is very good.
Marbled cats primarily prey on birds and small arboreal mammals. Mammals they eat include tree squirrels, tree shrews, mice and rats, fruit bats and small primates. Their primary prey is thought to be birds up pheasant size. They also eat lizards, frogs, and insects.
Marbled cats are polygynous, which means that one male mates with multiple females. A breeding season has not been reported, and it may vary from region to region. After a gestation period of 81 days, a female produces a litter of 1-4. By 16 days the kittens’ eyes will be fully open, and they can walk by around 22 days. Kittens in captivity can eat solid food by the age of 59 days, which may be when weaning begins in the wild. Females invest heavily in their offspring through the periods of gestation and lactation, and they also put in significant time with care post-weaning, as well as teaching. A marbled cat reaches maturity at about 21 months.
The major threat to the Marbled cat is thought to be widespread and rapid destruction of the forest habitat within Southeast Asia, affecting not only this species, but its prey as well.
According to the IUCN Red List, the global population size of Marbled cat has not been quantified, but it is likely that it numbers over 10,000 mature individuals. This species’ numbers are decreasing today and it is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List.