The beautiful silvery grey Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) is very rare and occurs at low densities in its mountainous habitat of the Andes, South America. Very little is known about this cat and research is difficult in the extreme conditions at high altitudes. In addition to the usual threats of habitat loss and degradation due to human activities and expansion, the fragile mountain region with its specialist wildlife will also be affected by global climate change.
1. Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)
2. Geoffroy’s Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi)
3. Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita)
4. Margay (Leopardus wiedii)
5. Pampas Cat (Leopardus colocola)
6. Northern Tiger Cat (Leopardus tigrinus)
7. Southern Tiger Cat (Leopardus guttulus)
8. Guiña or Kodkod (Leopardus guigna)
Key Facts about Andean Cats
~ Endangered rare cat of South America ~
~ Mountainous habitat of the Andes ~
~ Very few studies so little is known ~
Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) Classification
The Andean Cat belongs to the genus Leopardus and the full taxonomy or scientific classification of the Andean 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: Leopardus jacobita (Andean Cat)
The scientific name for the Andean Cat is Leopardus jacobita 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 Andean Cat classification chart shows where this cat fits into the Felidae family and in particular the Leopardus genus.
Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) Subspecies
No subspecies of Andean Cats have been described in the past and the last Felidae taxonomy revision in 2017 continues to recognize the Andean Cat as a monotypic species.
- Leopardus jacobita - Andes mountains of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru and Patagonia Argentina - South America (patchy distribution).
Andean Cat Conservation
The global conservation status for the Andean Cat is Endangered (EN) with an estimated population of less than 3000.
The following organizations are dedicated to research and conservation of the Andean Cat:
Andean Cat Alliance - South America
Wildlife Conservation Network - Andean Cat
Please support these organizations with their important work if you can. No matter the size of your contribution, every bit helps!
Andean Cat Facts and Information
These organizations have well researched and authoritative information on Andean Cats:
- Andean Cat Status and Distribution Map - IUCN Red List
- Andean Cat Detailed Information - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
- Andean Cat Academic Literature pdf - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
Andean Cat Research
For a list of papers on Andean Cats view articles on Leopardus jacobita in the IUCN Cat Specialist Group database. (Scroll down once the library page is loaded to see the list.)