The medium sized Asiatic Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii) occurs across a vast range in Asia yet density is poorly known and occurrence is likely patchy. The Asiatic Golden Cat is typically golden reddish (hence the name) but the species varies considerably in size, coat patterns and coloration across its range. As a forest dependent specialist, deforestation within the region is a major threat, and poaching appears to be increasing with reports of this cat being substituted for tiger pelt and bones.
Key Facts about Asiatic Golden Cats
~ Highly variable coat color ~
~ Forest habitat dependent ~
~ Striking facial markings ~
Asiatic Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii) Classification
The Asiatic Golden Cat belongs to the genus Catopuma and the full taxonomy, scientific classification or higher classification of the Asiatic Golden Cat species (Catopuma temminckii) is as follows:
Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)
Class: Mammalia (mammals)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)
Family: Felidae (cats)
Subfamily: Felinae (small cats)
Species: Catopuma temminckii (Asiatic Golden Cat)
Asiatic Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii) Subspecies
The global conservation status for the Asiatic Golden Cat is Near Threatened (NT) and populations are declining.
Up to five subspecies of the Asiatic Golden Cat have been described in the past:
- Catopuma temminckii temminckii
- Catopuma temminckii dominicanorum
- Catopuma temminckii tristis
- Catopuma temminckii bainesi
- Catopuma temminckii moormensis
However based on recent genetic studies the current Felidae taxonomic revision proposes only two subspecies, with the other three being color variants of C.t. moormensis:
- Catopuma temminckii temminckii - Sumatra and Malay Peninsula - smaller size, reddish coloration.
- Catopuma temminckii moormensis - Nepal to north Burma, China, Tibet and south-east Asia - larger size, variable patterns and coloration.
Asiatic Golden Cat Conservation & Research
At this time there appears to be no active projects focused on this species, however the following organizations are dedicated to research and conservation in the region and other small cats:
- South East Asia Projects - Chester Zoo
- Global small cat conservation - Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation SWCCF
Please support them with their important work. No matter how small or large your donation, every bit helps!
Asiatic / Asian Golden Cat Facts and Information
The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Asiatic Golden Cats also known as Asian Golden Cats:
- Asiatic Golden Cat Fact Sheet - International Soc. for Endangered Cats (ISEC)
- Asiatic Golden Cat Images and Video Clips in the Wild - ARKive