Iriomote cat Facts

Iriomote cat Facts
Iriomote cat is a type of wild cat that is endemic (it can be found only there and nowhere else) for the Iriomote island in Japan. It inhabits low mountains, evergreen and tropical forests, mangroves and areas near the rivers. Based on genetic investigations, Iriomote cat is classified as a subspecies of the leopard cat. Separate evolution of these two types of cats started 200.000 years ago. With less than 100 animals in the wild, Iriomote cat is listed as critically endangered. Major threats for the survival of this cat are habitat loss (due to increased urbanization and agriculture), diseases, traffic accidents and predation.
Interesting Iriomote cat Facts:
Iriomote cat can reach 22 to 24 inches in length and 6.5 to 10 pounds of weight. Tail is usually 9 inches long. Males are larger than females.
Iriomote cat has grey or light brown fur covered with dark spots and stripes. Bottom parts of the body are lighter in color.
Iriomote cat has rounded ears, elongated torso with muscular shoulders, long body, short legs and thick tail.
Unlike other species of cats, Iriomote cat lacks one pair of premolars (it has 28 teeth in total). Also, its scent glands are located around anus and not inside it.
Iriomote cat is excellent swimmer and climber, but it spends most of the time on the ground (terrestrial animal).
Iriomote cat is nocturnal animal (active during the night). It sleeps inside the hollow logs or in the caves during the day.
Iriomote cat is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on birds, rats, bats, insects, reptiles and fish.
Unlike other wild cats, Iriomote cat doesn't kill its prey quickly, by breaking the spinal cord. Instead, it will hold the prey in the mouth until it stops moving.
Iriomote cat occupies territory of 0.39 to 2.7 square miles and uses urine and feces to mark it. Territory of one male often overlaps with territories of two nearby females.
Iriomote cat is solitary animal except during the breeding season. It produces meowing and howling sounds for communication.
Mating season takes place from February to March and from September to October. Males often fight with each other to establish dominance and get opportunity to mate.
Pregnancy in females lasts around 60 days and ends with 1 to 4 kittens. Babies are usually born in the crevices of rock. They depend on the mother's milk during the first 2 to 3 months of their life. Young Iriomote cats stay with their mother until the age of 11 months.
Iriomote cat reach sexual maturity at the age of 12 months.
Iriomote cats can interbreed with domestic cats. This is one of the factors that decrease number of (genetically pure) Iriomote cats in the wild.
Iriomote cat can survive 7 to 8 years in the wild and 8 to 9 years in the captivity.

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