Geoffroys Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) - Leopardus Lineage
Geoffroy's Cat, Zoo Karlsruhe, Germany by Daf-de (GDFL, CC-BY-SA-3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

The small spotted Geoffroy's Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) is widespread and common throughout South America. It is a generalist species and although mostly active on the ground it has been observed climbing trees and hunting in water.

This cat was once the second most traded pelt after bobcats, and it is still at risk from illegal poaching for the fur trade. There is also demand from the pet trade to interbreed Geoffroy's Cats with domestic cats to produce 'safari cats'.

As with all the South American cats, clearing of natural forest habitat for farming is a major threat to their survival.


2023 - Geoffroy's Cats in the News / Podcasts / Where to See Geoffroy's Cats

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)

Facts about Geoffroy's Cats

~ Widespread & common in South America ~

~  Active on the ground, trees and in water ~

~ Historically second most traded cat pelt ~

Geoffroy's Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) Classification

The Geoffroy's Cat belongs to the genus Leopardus and the full taxonomy or scientific classification of the Geoffroy's 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)

Genus: Leopardus

Species: Leopardus geoffroyi (Geoffroy's Cat)

Subspecies: none


The scientific name for the Geoffroy's Cat is Leopardus geoffroyi 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).

Classification Chart

This Geoffroy's Cat classification chart shows where this cat fits into the Felidae family and in particular the Leopardus genus.

Geoffroy's Cat Classification Chart
Click chart to download.
Permission to use for personal or educational use.

Geoffroy's Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) Subspecies

Four subspecies of Geoffroy's Cats have been recognized in the past:

  • Leopardus geoffroyi geoffroyi - Central and south Argentina, Chile
  • Leopardus geoffroyi salinarum - North-west Argentina
  • Leopardus geoffroyi paraguae - Paraguay, Uruguay, north-east Argentina and south-east Brazil
  • Leopardus geoffroyi euxanthus - Bolivia and north Argentina

However the last Felidae taxonomy revision in 2017 found insufficient genetic evidence for subspecies differentiation and proposed a monotypic species (no subspecies).

Geoffroy's Cat Conservation

The global conservation status for Geoffroy's Cats is Least Concern (LC) across all regions.

The following organizations are dedicated to research and conservation of the smaller cats of Latin America:

Geoffroys Cat Working Group (GCWG) - South America

Wild Cats Americas (WCA) - Small Wild Cats of the Americas

Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation (SWCCF) - Global

Please support these organizations with their important work if you can. No matter the size of your contribution, every bit helps!

Geoffroy's Cat Facts and Information

These organizations have well researched and authoritative information on Geoffroy's Cats:

If you find this website useful, please consider a small contribution of $5 so I can continue to keep it updated. Thank you, Mandy 🙂

Geoffroy's Cat Research

Here are some papers published on Geoffroy's Cats. Click on the title bar to view the abstract and the link to the article.

View more articles on Leopardus geoffroyi in the IUCN Cat Specialist Group database. (Scroll down once the library page is loaded to see the list.)

Consider joining the Friends of the Cat Specialist Group to access the full articles and receive their journal Cat News covering the latest wild cat research.

Geoffroys Cat on branch

Map of South America with Countries and Capitals
Map of South America by Nations Online Project

Young Geoffroys Cat on branch

Geoffroys Cat crouching on branch

Molecular population genetics, evolutionary biology and biological conservation of neotropical carnivores.

Field Guide to the Wild Cats of South America (Spanish)

Neotropical Cats by TG de Oliveira (1994)
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