Marbled Cat - Cat 1 of 3 in the Bay Cat family

Marbled Cat – Cat 1 of 3 in the Bay Cat family

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Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata)

The Marbled Cat is one of the three wild cats in the Bay Cat family. The other two close relatives of this cat are the Asiatic Golden Cat and the Borneo Bay Cat. These small cats inhabit the forests of South East Asia and very little is known about them.

The beautifully marked Marbled Cat is secretive, semi-arboreal and very difficult to observe. The cat looks similar to the Clouded Leopard with blotched markings, large canines and a long tail, just much smaller in size. This cat probably has the longest tail, relative to its size, of all the cats and is also able to rotate its ankles in its hind feet to climb headfirst down a tree.

Similar to other tropical cats, Marbled Cats are forest dependent and thus threatened by the rapid deforestation taking place across Asia. Research on this wild cat's ecology and biology is needed to help inform conservation actions.Marbled Cat (Pardofelis marmorata) - Bay Cat Lineage

Marbled Cat Audio

Listen to a short audio taken from the Marbled Cat chapter from The Wild Cat Book by Fiona and Mel Sunquist.

This excerpt introduces the rare Marbled Cats and their fascinating physical features.


The Wild Cat Book - Sunquist

Asian Cats Podcast

Listen to this interesting podcast with Stuart Chapman about his quest to see all 40 wild cats and his close encounter with an Asiatic Golden Cat. He also gives an update on the Tiger x2 program and how people can contribute to wild cat conservation.

In Search of the World's Wild Cats - Stuart Chapman by The Think Wildlife podcast.

15 Observations of Marbled Cats on iNaturalist

There are currently only 15 sightings of Marbled Cats on iNaturalist, so this shows how difficult it is to observe this cat in the wild.

iNaturalist is a global platform for the public to upload images of wild creatures they have seen in nature. If you have any photos of natural biodiversity from your travels be sure to open an account and upload your images. Identification is verified by other members and the data can be used in future research. A great way to contribute to conservation and research!

Note there are images of dead animals in case you are a sensitive viewer.

Marbled Cat, Sabah Malaysia
iNaturalist Marbled Cat Observation Sabah, Malaysia - © Royle Safaris · CC BY-NC

Where to see Marbled Cats

A great place to get tips and read trip reports from people that have been on various tours to see wild cats is

Here is the list of recent trip reports for Marbled Cats and here is a list of ethical tour operators that offer wildlife trips to see cats in the wild in Asia.

Marbled Cat, Borneo
Marbled Cat Sighting Borneo - Copyright BrettHartl

If you know of anyone that may be interested in studying wild cats, please share this post to them.

There is a dire need for research on the lesser known smaller cats such as the Marbled Cat.

I would love to encourage as many budding zoologists as possible to specialize in these wonderful animals!

Many thanks!

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