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

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.

Leopardus Lineage

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, 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 side profile by Jim Sanderson

Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) Subspecies

Lower classification

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

Currently there is no publication in print dedicated to just the cats of Central and South America.

A book entitled Neotropical Cats by TG de Oliviera was published in 1994 however is no longer in print, and may be available in libraries or in used book stores.

The latest information on these cats can be found in books covering all wild cats.

Neotropical Cats by TG de Oliveira 1994
Neotropical Cats by TG de Oliveira (1994) - Out of Print
Try AbeBooks ~ Book Review 1996