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Rusty-spotted-cat feature

Rusty Spotted Cat: Everything you need to know about world smallest cat species

by Peter Barnes

Rusty Spotted Cats have a physique that is slim and smaller than a domestic cat. A smaller, “washed-out” variation of the leopard cat, its thicker, rustier-colored tail is about half the length of its body and has grayer markings

The range of rusty spotted cats is rather constrained. In India and Sri Lanka, they are most frequently found in wet and dry deciduous forests, as well as in scrub and grassland, but they are probably missing from evergreen forests. They favor rocky terrain and locations covered in vegetation.

Rusty spotted cat actual size

The rusty spotted cat is only 0.9 to 1.6 kilograms in weight and measures 35 to 48 centimeters in length with a 15 to 30 centimeter tail. It was only designated as vulnerable by the IUCN in 2002 because it is one of the least well-studied South Asian carnivores. In some places, local human populations hunt it for food.

Photo – BBC

The IUCN Red List categorizes the rusty-spotted cat as endangered due to its high risk of extinction in the wild. Trade in the species is only permitted under extraordinary conditions according to the CITES, which places the Indian population in Appendix 1 as being threatened with extinction. In Sri Lanka, where there are a lot of rules about the fur trade, the population is on Appendix II, but it is not necessarily in danger of going extinct.

Do you know that Rusty spotted cat is said to be sensitive, playful, and friendly, and it is simple to house-train? Continue reading to get some idea…

Kitten’s Rusty Spotted Cat

Photo – Animalpond

Due to their high vulnerability to attacks, these cats only have a short breeding season. They are capable of producing a litter of two to three kittens with rusty spots. Also fairly typical is one rusty-spotted cat kitten per pregnancy.

The kittens stay with their mother until they can care for themselves on their own during their two-month gestation phase. When they attain sexual maturity, kittens of rusty-spotted cats are thought of as adults.

Rusty-spotted cat kittens are born blind and stay that way for the first few days. At birth, the rusty-spotted kitten weighs only a few grams, making it a very small animal. The rusty-spotted kitten has rows of black spots rather than the adult’s distinct rusty patches.

Rusty spotted cat in hand

Photo – Pinterest

It might be argued that since rusty-spotted cats are a wild cat species, having one as a pet is unethical. People who would usually adopt a domestic cat may wish to adopt this little feline because it is the tiniest species of wild cat and most likely the smallest cat on the planet. Although it has an exotic, unique, and adorable appearance, its behavior is not adorable.

But as below video clip from the BBC’s wildlife show Big Cats shows, one of the big cats that live in the woods of Sri Lanka is so small that he can fit in the palm of your hand.

Is it legal to own a rusty-spotted cat as a pet?

Photo – Animalpond


It is acceptable to keep a rusty-spotted cat in the UK. It greatly surprised me that rusty-spotted cats are an exception to the list of hazardous wild animals as stated in the schedule to The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (Modification) (No. 2) Order 2007 (a “statutory instrument”), and that you don’t need a license to keep one in the UK.

The designation of this cat as a dangerous wild animal has been “excepted.” The enormity of it must be the cause. It is probably no more hazardous than a domestic cat, it is thought to be.


Rusty the spotted cat is a popular pet choice among Americans. To make sure that winning a rusty spotted cat is legal in your state before you buy one, check the laws of your state.

Here, Shutterbulky won’t traverse every state because doing so would be unfeasible. You’ll need to research each state and perhaps contact the appropriate government agency by phone. We’ll give some examples, though.

Consider Michigan. The ability to keep a cat with rusty spots is unrestricted. Is New Hampshire included? There are restrictions on all wild cat species, and a state exhibitor permit only allows you to own one of each kind. For instance, Alabama claims that exotic animal ownership is not subject to any license or permission requirements. According to my research, the rusty-spotted cat does not need a license. Indiana issues wild cat species with one-year licenses. A wild cat species may not be kept as a pet by a Virginia resident without a permit. Owning any kind of wild cat in Georgia, including the rusty-spotted cat, requires a permit. Owning this cat is against the law without a license.


In Northern Europe, where there are 44 countries, there will likely be restrictions or outright bans on owning the rusty-spotted cat, whereas in Eastern Europe, there will likely be much laxer laws allowing ownership either because it is legal or because there is a lack of enforcement.

Even though this needs to be looked into, it is likely that rules in southern European countries that try to stop people from owning things will not work as well as those in northern European countries.


You should never bring a rusty-spotted cat into Australia as a pet! They cannot be owned by the Australian government.

Our former coworker once attempted to establish an Australian F1 wild cat breeding program. He is a very capable individual, but he was unable to persuade the Australian government to permit it.

I don’t even need to check the Australian legal code to understand that you are not permitted to keep a pet rusty-spotted cat.

Photo – Mongabay


Rusty-Spotted Cat Price

The cost of a rusty-spotted cat can vary widely, from 1500 to 20,000 dollars. It is not suggested to keep them as pets because they do not flourish in captivity and are currently listed as threatened. Regardless of how much they cost, rusty-spotted cats are not good pets.

Can rusty spotted cats breed with domestic cats?

It is half the size of a typical domestic cat and weighs slightly over 2 pounds. It can naturally interbreed with domestic cats since their ranges overlap. The Rusty Spotted cat has not yet been intentionally hybridized. However, due to their friendly nature, they can be domesticated and kept as pets.

How many rusty spotted cats are left in the wild?

There are roughly 10,000 rusty spotted cats alive today, in addition to the 40 to 50 specimens kept in captivity.

What is the rarest type of wild cat?

With only around 120 adults left in the wild, the Amur leopard could be the most endangered big cat on Earth. An additional 8-12 leopards were counted in adjacent areas of China, a rare subspecies considered the world’s rarest wild cat, has more than doubled over the past seven years

Credit: Tryzone, Wikipedia | All the information & photo credit goes to respective authorities. DM for removal please.

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