Oncilla Facts

Oncilla Facts
Oncilla, or little spotted cat, is the smallest wild cat of South America. There are 4 subspecies of oncilla that can be found in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Guyana and Argentina. Oncilla lives in mountain forests, subtropical forests and semi-arid areas on the altitude above 4900 feet. Because of their beautiful fur, oncilla was excessively hunted in the second half of 20th century. Other factor which negatively affects survival of oncilla is habitat loss. Oncilla is rarely seen in the wild, but at the moment, it is not listed as endangered species.
Interesting Oncilla Facts:
Oncilla is a small cat that can reach 15.7 to 21.7 inches in length and 3.3 to 6.6 pounds of weight. Tail is slightly shorter than the body, usually 9.8 to 15.7 inches long.
Body of oncilla is covered with beautiful fur that can be tan or ochre in color. Upper side of the body is covered with dark rosettes. Lower side of the body is pale and contains just few spots. Tail is covered with black rings and ends with black tip.
One fifth of all oncillas are completely black. This type of oncilla usually inhabits more dense parts of the forests.
Oncilla has slender body, narrow muzzle, round ears and round eyes with pronounced golden irises.
Oncilla is very agile climber and it spends part of its life on the tree (partial arboreal life). Tail is used for balancing while it moves across the treetops.
Oncilla is active at twilight (crepuscular animal) and night (nocturnal animal).
Oncilla is a solitary creature which gathers with other oncillas only during mating season.
Unlike many other cat species, oncilla is a good swimmer.
Oncilla is a carnivore (meat-eater). It feeds on small mammals (such as rodents and small primates), birds, lizards, invertebrates and eggs.
Oncilla produce several sounds in communication. Young animals produce characteristic purring sound, while adult animals produce gurgling sound when they meet each other.
Oncilla reaches sexual maturity at the age of 2 or 2.5 years. Mating season of oncilla takes place in spring and summer.
Pregnancy in females lasts 74 to 76 days and ends with 1 to 3 kittens.
Young ocelots are poorly developed. They open their eyes 8 to 17 days after birth. All teeth will erupt simultaneously 21 days after birth. 38 to 56 days after birth, young oncilla will be ready to eat solid food.
Oncilla can mate with related cat species, such as Geoffroy's cat and pumpus cat. Produced kittens are hybrids (genetically mixed species). This type of breeding decreases number of pure oncillas in the wild.
Average lifespan of oncilla is 11 years in the wild. Although captive oncilla has very high mortality rate (especially young animals), it can survive up to 17 years when kept under right conditions.

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