The Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) is a common wild cat species throughout Asia, preferring riverine and wetland habitats in the west of its range. However accelerated habitat loss has seen declines of this species where its range is close to urban and industrial development. Jungle Cats seem to adapt to certain agricultural land uses, although this can lead to predator conflict with farmers.

Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) Unique Facts

~ Active day and night ~

~ Very strong swimmer ~

~ Mostly Asian range, occurs marginally in Africa ~

Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) - Felis Lineage
Felis chaus from Munsiyari, Uttarakhand, India
By L. Shyamal (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Image Source

Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) Classification

The taxonomy or scientific classification of the Jungle Cat species (Felis chaus) 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: Felis

Species: Felis chaus (Jungle Cat)

Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) Subspecies (lower classifications)

Up to ten subspecies have been recognized in the past, however the current Felidae taxonomy revision proposes three subspecies pending further research:

1. Felis chaus chaus - Egypt and Middle East to Turkestan, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan and Afghanistan  (riverine habitat)

2. Felis chaus affinis - East Afghanistan, Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka (variety of habitats)

3. Felis chaus fulvidina - SE Asia, including China (variety of habitats)

Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) Conservation and Research

The global conservation status for the Jungle Cat is Least Concern (LC); although there has been declines in parts of its range. Rapid habitat loss, poaching and wildlife conflict are the main threats to the survival of this wild cat.

Here are some research theses and papers on the Jungle Cat species by year:

  • Adhya T. 2015.

Habitat use and diet of two sympatric felids - the Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) and the Jungle cat (Felis chaus) - in a human-dominated landscape in suburban Kolkata. MSc Thesis, National Centre for Biological Sciences Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

  • Majumder A., Sankar K., Qureshi Q. & Basu S. 2011.

Food habits and temporal activity patterns of the Golden Jackal Canis aureus and the Jungle Cat Felis chaus in Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(11), 2221-5

  • Mukherjee S., Krishnan A., Tamma K., Home C., et al. 2010.

Ecology Driving Genetic Variation: A Comparative Phylogeography of Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) and Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) in India. PLoS ONE 5(10).

  • Ogurlu I., Gundogdu E. & Yildirim I. C. 2010.

Population status of jungle cat (Felis chaus) in Egirdir lake, Turkey. Journal of Environmental Biology 31, 179-183.

  • Duckworth J. W., Poole C. M., Tizard R. J., Walston J. L. & Timmins R. J. 2005.

The jungle cat Felis chaus in Indochina: a threatened population of a widespread and adaptable species.
Biodiversity and Conservation 14, 1263-80.

Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) Facts and Information

The following links will take you to websites with well researched and authoritative information on Jungle Cats:

  • Jungle Cat Fact Sheet - ARKive
  • Jungle Cat Information - ISEC
  • Jungle Images and Video Clips in the Wild - ARKive
Recommended Books about all Wild Cats
Wild Cats of the World - Luke Hunter
Luke Hunter 2015
(general and academic interest)
The Wild Cat Book - Sunquist
Fiona and Mel Sunquist 2014
(general interest)
Small Wild Cats - Sanderson and Watson
J. Sanderson & P. Watson 2011
(general interest)
Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids
D.Macdonald & A.Loveridge 2010
(academic interest)
Wild Cats of the World - Sunquist
Mel and Fiona Sunquist 2002
(general and academic interest)