Andean cat Facts

Andean cat Facts
Andean cat is one of the rarest species of wild cats in the world. It can be found only in the Andean mountains where it inhabits rocky terrains with sparse vegetation. It lives on the altitude of 11.500 to 15.700 feet. Researchers believe that wild population of Andean cats does not exceed 2.500 animals. Andean cats are often on a target of local people due to superstition. Number of their prey is decreasing and they often compete for the same type of food with pampas cats, which additionally complicates their survival. Thanks to all these factors, Andean cat is listed as endangered.
Interesting Andean cat Facts:
Andean cat was described for the first time in the 1865. Until recently, nearly all data about Andean cat were collected based on 2 photographs, 3 samples of skulls and 14 samples of skin
One Andean cat was trapped and radio-collared in the 2004, but it died before researchers managed to collect enough information about biology of this species.
Andean cat can reach 23 to 25 inches in length and 8.75 to 12 pounds of weight. Tail is usually 16 to 19 inches long.
Andean cat has dense, soft silver-grey fur with brown-yellow blotches that create impression of stripes on dorsal and lateral sides of the body. Dark grey bars can be seen on the chest and forelegs, and dark spots on the light-colored belly. Tail is covered with 6 to 9 dark bands.
Males and females look alike. Body of young Andean cats is lighter in color and covered with numerous small-sized dots.
Andean cat has black nose, rounded ears, sturdy body, large feet and long, thick tail.
Researchers believe that Andean cat is active mostly during the night (nocturnal).
Andean cat has excellent sense of hearing thanks to well-developed ear drums. It uses sense of hearing for detection of prey.
Andean cat is a carnivore (meat-eater). It hunts and eats only mountain viscacha and chinchilla.
Andean cat uses its long tail (70% of the body length) for balancing when it chases the prey that moves in unpredictable manner and sharply changes direction when it tries to escape from the cat.
Based on the observed cats in the wild, it is concluded that Andean cat lives solitary life. This cat is not afraid of humans.
Locals claim that Andean cats mate from July to August. Scientists believe that mating season may last to November or December because they observed young kittens in the wild both during the October and April.
Female probably mates once per year and gives birth to one to three kittens. Most babies are born during the spring and summer, when food is abundant.
There is not even one Andean cat in the captivity.
Lifespan of Andean cat in the wild and in the captivity is unknown.

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