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







Marbled Cat

Family : Felidae
Species : Pardofelis marmorata

Head-body length : up to 53 cm
Tail length : up to 55 cm
Weight : up to 5 kg

The Marbled Cat inhabits primary and tall secondary forest in lowland and lower montane areas, and appears to have limited ability to adapt to degraded and fragmented forest. It is now considered to be mainly terrestrial and diurnal, perhaps resting overnight in the branches of trees.

This is an uncommon and relatively small cat, of similar size to the more common Leopard Cat. Unlike the latter species, however, the Marbled Cat appears unable to survive in oil palm plantations.

Its diet comprises a variety of prey, particularly small mammals such as squirrels, rats, and possibly treeshrews. It is known to feed on birds, and probably also feeds opportunistically on reptiles and large insects, however the ecology of this species remains largely unstudied.

The ground colour of its thick fur is a rich, yellowish-brown: this is patterned with dark spots and wavy lines, with the markings on the flanks appearing similar to the considerably larger Clouded Leopard. Its tail is relatively long, and covered with thick fur and is spotted throughout.

In Southeast Asia the Marbled Cat occurs in Myanmar, Thailand, Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. There are no records from Singapore.

Outside the region its range extends into parts of northern India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and southern China.

Fig 1 : Trail camera image of a Marbled Cat taken early afternoon in degraded, bamboo-dominated forest at Virachey National Park, Cambodia.  Photo thanks to Greg McCann.

References : M3, M5

Links :

HabitatID, Virachey National Park

McCann, G. E. (2016). Marbled Cat Pardofelis marmorata at Virachey National Park , Ratanakiri, Cambodia . Southeast Asia Vertebrate Records. 2016 : 72-74 [pdf]


Fig 1
ゥ  Greg McCann