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.
Key Facts about Jungle Cats
~ Active day and night ~
~ Very strong swimmers ~
~ Mostly Asian range ~
Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) Classification
Jungle Cats belong to the Felis genus and the full taxonomy or scientific classification of the Jungle Cat species is:
Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)
Class: Mammalia (mammals)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)
Family: Felidae (cats)
Subfamily: Felinae (small cats)
Species: Felis chaus (Jungle Cat)
The scientific name for the Jungle Cat is Felis chaus which is also known as the binomial name, species name, latin name, biological name or zoological name. Some use the term 'botanical name' however that term is only applicable to the plant kingdom (botany) and not the animal kingdom (zoology).
Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) Subspecies
Up to ten subspecies have been recognized in the past, however the last Felidae taxonomy revision in 2017 proposed 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 Research
Here are some research theses and papers on the Jungle Cat species by year:
- Ünal Y., Eryilmaz A. 2020.
Jungle cat (Felis chaus, Schreber, 1777) population density estimates, activity pattern and spatiotemporal interactions with humans and other wildlife species in Turkey. Applied ecology and environmental research (18): 5873-5890.
- 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.
View more articles on Felis chaus in the IUCN Cat Specialist Group database (scroll down once the library page is loaded to see the list).
Jungle Cat Conservation
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.
As with many small cat species there is rarely a conservation program dedicated to one species, however the following organizations support multiple small cat projects:
International Society for Endangered Cats - ISEC
Panthera - Small Cat Program
Please support these organizations with their important work if you can. No matter the size of your contribution, every bit helps!
Jungle Cat Facts and Information
The following organizations have well researched and authoritative information on Jungle Cats:
- Jungle Cat Status and Distribution Map - IUCN Red List
- Jungle Cat Detailed Information - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
- Jungle Cat Academic Literature pdf - IUCN Cat Specialist Group