Geoffroy’s Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) - Leopardus Lineage
Geoffroy's Cat, Zoo Karlsruhe, Germany
By Daf-de (GDFL, CC-BY-SA-3.0) via Wikimedia Commons
Note: Range is South America only (not Central) - slide to be corrected.

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 and 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 (Leopardus geoffroyi) 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 geoffroyi (Geoffroy's Cat)

Geoffroys Cat on branch

Geoffroys Cats resting under foliage

Geoffroy's Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) Subspecies

Lower classification

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 current Felidae taxonomy revision found insufficient genetic evidence for subspecies differentiation and proposes 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 and subspecies.

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

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

Young Geoffroys Cat on branch

Geoffroys Cat crouching on branch

Geoffroy's Cat Facts and Information

The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Geoffroy's 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