The diminutive Rusty-spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) only occurs within India and Sri-Lanka and a small region of Nepal. The Rusty-spotted Cat is very active and an agile climber, however little is known about this rarely seen cat and crucial research is needed. Rapid transformation of remaining natural land for human use is dramatically reducing available habitat for this and other small wild cats in the region.
Key Facts about Rusty-spotted Cats
~ Smallest of all wild cats ~
~ Only occurs in India, Nepal & Sri Lanka ~
~ Agile climber and highly active ~
Rusty-spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) Classification
The Rusty-spotted Cat belongs to the genus Prionailurus and the full taxonomy or scientific classification of the Rusty-spotted 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: Prionailurus rubiginosus (Rusty-spotted Cat)
The scientific name for the Rusty-spotted Cat is Prionailurus rubiginosus 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).
This Rusty-spotted Cat classification chart shows where this cat fits into the Felidae family and in particular the Prionailurus genus.
Rusty-spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) Subspecies
Three subspecies of Rusty-spotted Cat have been described in the past, and the last Felidae taxonomic revision in 2017 continues with this classification pending further research:
- Prionailurus rubiginosus rubiginosus - India and Nepal
- Prionailurus rubiginosus phillipsi - Sri Lanka wet forest zone
- Prionailurus rubiginosus koladivius - Sri Lanka lowland dry zone
Rusty-spotted Cat Conservation
The global conservation status for the Rusty-spotted Cat is Near Threatened (NT) and populations are declining.
The following organizations are dedicated to research and conservation of Rusty-spotted Cats and other small cats:
Sri Lanka - Small Cat Advocacy and Research SCAR
Global small cat conservation - Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation SWCCF
Please support them with their important work if you can. No matter the size of your donation, every bit helps!
- India - Ecology of Rusty-spotted Cat
Rusty-spotted Cat Facts and Information
The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Rusty-spotted Cats:
- Rusty-spotted Cat Status and Distribution Map - IUCN Red List
- Rusty-spotted Cat Detailed Information - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
- Rusty-spotted Cat Academic Reference List - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
Rusty-Spotted Cat Research
For a list of papers on Rusty-spotted Cats view articles on Prionailurus rubiginosus in the IUCN Cat Specialist Group database. (Scroll down once the library page is loaded to see the list.)