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.
Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) - Leopardus Lineage
Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) by Jim Sanderson (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

Key Facts about Andean Cats

~ Endangered and 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, scientific classification or higher classification of the Andean Cat species (Leopardus jacobita) 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: Leopardus

Species: Leopardus jacobita (Andean Cat)

Andean Cat sitting in rocky habitat

Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) Subspecies (lower classification)

Andean Cat side profile by Jim Sanderson

No subspecies of Andean Cats have been described in the past and the current Felidae taxonomy revision 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 & Research

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:

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

Andean Cat release Andean-Cat-Alliance

Andean Cat Facts and Information

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

Books on Neotropical Cats 

Read more about the wild cats of Central and South America in the publications below.

Currently there is no publication in print dedicated to just the cats of the Leopardus family, however the latest information on them can be found in these fascinating books covering all wild cats.

View more books about wild cat species.

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