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, however having once been the second most traded pelt after bobcats, 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.

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 belong to the genus Leopardus and the full taxonomy, scientific classification or higher 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).

Geoffroys Cat on branch

Geoffroys Cats resting under foliage

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 & Research

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:

Institute Pro-Carnivores - Wild Cats of Brazil

Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation - Global

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

Young Geoffroys Cat on branch

Geoffroys Cat crouching on branch

Geoffroy's Cat Facts and Information

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

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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