The beautifully marked Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) is another of the secretive cats of South East Asia, that are difficult to observe and little studied. The cat's appearance is similar to the Clouded Leopard, with blotched markings, large canines and a long tail, just smaller in size. As are many of the tropical cats, Marbled Cats are forest dependent and thus threatened by the rapid deforestation taking place across Asia. Basic research on this cat's biology and ecology is needed to help inform conservation planning.
Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) - Bay Cat Lineage
The Marbled Cat: this species has never been fully studied. Very little is known of its ecology.
Copyright: Global Canopy Programme. Photo by: Jo Ross and Andrew Hearn. (with permission)

Key Facts about Marbled Cats

~ Very long, bushy tail ~

~ Blotched, 'marbled' coat pattern ~

~ Forest dependant ~

Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) Classification

The Marbled Cat belongs to the genus Pardofelis and the full taxonomy, scientific classification or higher classification of the Marbled Cat species (Pardofelis marmorata) 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)

Genus: Pardofelis

Species: Pardofelis marmorata (Marbled Cat)

Male Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata)

Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) Subspecies

Lower classification

Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata)

The global conservation status for the Marbled Cat is Near Threatened (NT) and the population is declining.

Two subspecies of the Marbled Cat have been described in the past and the current Felidae taxonomic revision concurs with this. However recent studies show that the distributions differ to the previous range descriptions and therefore have renamed one of the subspecies:

  • Parodfelis marmorata marmorata - Borneo, Sumatra, Malay Peninsula south of the Isthmus of Kra and south Thailand
    • geyer pelage with large distinct blotches
  • Pardofelis marmorata longicaudata - Nepal to Assam, Bangladesh, south-east Asia north of the Isthmus of Kra
    • light to dark ochreous brown, fewer blotch-like markings
    • previously P.m. charltonii

Marbled 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:

Please support them with their important work. No matter how small or large your donation, every bit helps!

Past Projects:


Male Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata)

Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) side profile

Marbled Cat Facts and Information

The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Marbled Cats:

Wild Cats of the World - Luke Hunter 2015

Wild Cats of the World

by Luke Hunter 2015

(general and academic interest)

Amazon US (incl Kindle)

AbeBooks global

The Wild Cat Book - Sunquist 2014

The Wild Cat Book

by Fiona and Mel Sunquist 2014

(general interest)

Amazon US (incl Kindle)

AbeBooks global

Small Wild Cats - Sanderson and Watson 2011

Small Wild Cats

by J. Sanderson and P. Watson 2011

(general interest)

Amazon US (incl Kindle)

AbeBooks global