Guiña or Kodkod (Leopardus guigna) - Leopardus Lineage
Leopardus guigna in Anticura (Parque Nacional Puyehue, X Region, Chile) by Mauro Tammone (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

The diminutive Guina (Leopardus guigna) of South America is a forest dependant cat species occurring primarily in the country of Chile and also known as the Kodkod or Chilean Wild Cat. The cat weighs under 3 kgs and is the smallest cat species in the Americas and among the smallest cat species in the world. Threats include logging of natural forests and fragmentation of the landscape for agriculture.

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 Guiñas / Kodkods

~ Smallest wild cat of the Americas ~

~  Smallest range of all cats of the Americas ~

~ Found primarily in one country - Chile ~

Guiña / Kodkod (Leopardus guigna) Classification

The Guiña or Kodkod belongs to the genus Leopardus and the full taxonomy, scientific classification or higher classification of the Guiña or Kodkod species (Leopardus guigna) 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 guigna (Guiña / Kodkod)

Guiña / Kodkod in habitat (Leopardus guigna)

Guiña / Kodkod walking along track (Leopardus guigna)

Guiña / Kodkod(Leopardus guigna) Subspecies

Lower classification

Two subspecies of Guiñas have been described in the past:

  • Leopardus guigna guigna - south Chile and south west Argentina (darker and smaller)
  • Leopardus guigna tigrillo - north and central Chile (paler and larger)

These two subspecies are confirmed in the current Felidae taxonomy revision.

Guiña / Kodkod Conservation & Research

The global conservation status for the Guiña / Kodkod is Vulnerable (VU) and populations are declining.
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!

Guiña / Kodkod head detail (Leopardus guigna)

Guiña / Kodkod melanistic form (Leopardus guigna)

Guiña / Kodkod Facts and Information

The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on Guiñas / Kodkods:

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 about 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