African servals, exotic cats as pets

Exotic Cat Species Profiles
Jungle Cats
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Photos on this page courtesy of Serena Parsch-Cohen of Serenade Farms.













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Jungle cats do not seem to be as common as pets as servals or caracals; however, with their small size and non-endangered status they are certainly a species that it would be reasonable to consider owning as a pet.

Jungle Cat Facts

Description: The jungle cat has a fairly plain, solid-colored coat which ranges from sandy brown to gray. The kittens are striped and spotted at birth but lose their markings as they grow older. Melanistic (black) jungle cats are not uncommon. They have relatively short tails and long, slightly tufted ears.

Size: 11-22 pounds; slightly larger and lankier than the domestic cat.

Range and Habitat: The jungle cat can be found throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia. The name "jungle cat" is a slight misnomer; they are typically found in brush, swamps, reed beds, and other wetlands. however, they can also be found in sparsely vegetated desert areas and in areas surrounding local villages. They are one of the more adaptable feline species when it comes to acceptable habitat. They are not, however, particulary cold-tolerant; their coats are not adequate to protect them from freezing weather and snow. They have been observed sunbathing on chilly days.

Diet and Hunting Behavior: Jungle cats feed on small prey; their primary prey are small mammals such as rats, mice, girbils, and squirrels. However, frogs, birds (including waterfowl), fish, snakes, and fruit also make up a significant portion of their diet. Jungle cats have reportedly been spotted diving into the water and emerging with fish in their mouths, and one study showed that olives made up 17% of the winter diet of jungle cats in Uzbekistan. Jungle cats have been observed making high vertical jumps to capture birds, and after stalking their prey they have been seen using high leaps like those of the serval to capture creatures hiding in tall grass. They also pounce on frogs in shallow water.

Reproduction: Litters in the wild typically consist of about three kittens, although litters as large as six have been reported. They start eating solid food at about 6 weeks, and are weaned by 3 1/2 months. They breed readily in captivity.

Conservation Status: The jungle cat is the most common of the small felines, and has the enviable status of not being threatened or endangered. They are able to coexist with human populations and can adapt to a wide range of habitats. However, this status should not be taken for granted; in some areas fur hunting has caused a dramatic decline in populations. In 1979, Indian traders reported holding 306,343 jungle cat skins. As long as they are not overhunted, their adaptablity should ensure their survival long into the future.

Other Information: Jungle cats are very fast runners; one in Iran was clocked at 20 miles per hour! The scientific name is Felis Chaus; hence the name of the chausie, a hybrid between a jungle cat and a domestic cat.

Jungle Cat Breeders Jungle cat breeder's listing. See list....

To see jungle cat photos, visit the jungle cat area in the ExoticCatz.com Exotic Feline Photo Gallery.

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Home | First Stop for Future Owners | Why Exotic Pets Should NOT be Banned | Species Profiles | Behavior and Training | Care | Veterinary Care | Vet Directory | Housing & Enrichment | Adoptions | Resources | Discussion Forum | Photos | Other Topics....
© Jessi Clark-White, 2005
Jungle Cats - Jungle Cats as Pets - Pet Jungle Cat