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Mammalia > Carnivora > Felidae > Prionailurus

Prionailurus rubiginosus I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1831 – Rusty-spotted Cat

Taxonomic Notes:

There are three subspecies recognized in this species: P. r. rubiginosus, P. r. phillipsi and P. r. koladivius.

This species is listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (

Indian and global distribution:
records (based on images):
Sexual, seasonal & individual variation:
Status, Habitat and Habits:
This is the smallest cat species in India and is native to Indian subcontinent, found only in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. P. r. rubiginosus has the widest distribution i.e. in India and Nepal, P. r. phillipsi is restricted to western forest zone of Sri Lanka and P. r. koladivius is restricted to lowland dry zone of eastern Sri Lanka. It inhabits drier areas including scrub forests, grasslands, deciduous forests and cultivation. It is solitary, crepuscular and nocturnal that feeds mainly on small rodents.

Conservation Status:

This species is listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (

According to IUCN Red List assessment population of this species is decreasing all over its range. there are no estimates of its population, but it is thought to be fragmented. Habitat loss, occasional trapping in snares, use of pesticides, expansion of agriculture, commercial and residential activities and pet trade are the major threats to its survival in wild.


Mammalia > Carnivora > Felidae > Prionailurus

Cite this page along with its URL as:
Bayani, A. 2023. Prionailurus rubiginosus I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1831 – Rusty-spotted Cat. A. Bayani, R. Chakravarty, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (editors). Mammals of India, v. 1.13. editors.
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