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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Asian Golden Cat

Family : Felidae
Species : Catopuma temminckii

Head-body length : 76-84 cm
Tail length : 43-50 cm
Weight : up to 15 kg

The Asian Golden Cat, or Temminck's Cat, is a medium-sized feline which inhabits a variety of forest types including shaded, primary or secondary forest, and sunlit, dry forest. It is most easily sighted in open habitats at forest margins, such as grassland.

The species appears to be recorded more frequently in lowland areas, but is also known to occur at high elevations in parts of India and particularly Bhutan, where it is documented up to nearly 4000 metres.

The species appears to be mainly terrestrial in habits, but can climb trees if needed. It feeds on a variety of vertebrate prey, including forest floor birds, such as pheasants, ground squirrels, rats, small deer and reptiles. It appears to be both nocturnal and diurnal.

They reportedly make use of sheltered spaces to protect their one or two young, such as hollow trees, spaces between boulders or hollows in the ground.

The fur colour of this cat is somewhat variable, but is generally orange-brown on the body, limbs and upperside of the tail. Some populations are brownish and others greyish, and a rare black form is sometimes reported. Most examples are pale and mottled on the belly, but in some individuals or populations these markings may extend onto the lower flanks.

There are distinctive dark and pale stripes on the side of the head. The tip of its relatively long tail may be dark, and the underside is white.

This species ranges from northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and southern China to parts of mainland southeast Asia including Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra. In some of these territories, particularly southern China and Vietnam, the species is under great pressure from poaching and has probably been extirpated from many areas.

Figs 1 and 2 :
Daytime trail camera images of two examples in degraded, bamboo-dominated forest and forest-edge grassland.

Fig 3 : Nocturnal, infra-red trail camera image from secondary forest.

All photos from
Virachey National Park, Cambodia,   thanks to Greg McCann.

References : M3, M5

Links :

HabitatID, Virachey National Park


Fig 1
ゥ  Greg McCann
Fig 2
ゥ  Greg McCann
Fig 3
ゥ  Greg McCann