Asian Golden Cat

Catopuma temmincki

Body Length(mm) -750-1050

Weight (kg) - 8-15

Litter Size - 1-3 average

Life Span - 18 years

Status - Near Threatened

C.t.dominicanorum - Southern China

C.t.temmincki - Himalayas to Sumatra

C.t.tristis - Southwest China Highlands

The Asian Golden Cat, often referred to as Temminck’s Golden Cat is found throughout South East Asia including the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. Although it shares its name and in certain respects much of its colouration and markings with he Golden Cat found in East and Central Africa it is now considered a separate species.

The colouration of the asian golden cat can vary greatly from a reddish golden brown through to grey - melanistic golden cats are also known. The markings seem to vary as much as the base colouration - in the south of its range the cat is commonly without markings except for faint spots on its under parts, white line markings running up across its head, along its cheeks and from the corner of its eyes. In common with the Bornean Bay Cat, which some suggest it may be related, it also has a white stripe marking on the underside of the end of its tail. Further north in its range, the cat can be more heavily marked with dark reddish brown spots and stripes and one sub-species known as Fontainer’s Cat (C.t.tristis) has large blotched rosette markings and has been suggested by some to be a separate species.

The habitat on the golden cat is generally dense tropical and sub-tropical forest although in the Himalayas the cat can be found at altitudes up to 10,000 feet. Thought to be generally nocturnal, little is known of the golden cats prey species, however for a cat of its size, which can be as much as 40 inches in body length, it is probable that the golden cat hunts mainly large rodents, small deer, reptiles, birds and amphibians.

The golden cat is thought to be under threat in much of its range from deforestation and loss of habitat and this coupled with the pressures of hunting for its pelt has led the cat to be listed in CITES Appendix 1.

1997 Andrew Garman