Rare Leopard Cat

Jan 3, 2010

This article is a New Year gift to readers of DaijiWorld who have actively supported us in spreading the message regarding conservation of wildlife. Today, We extend an invitation to both the local and global community to help us celebrate New Year; with a resolution, to protect Nature’s precious resources.

At the outset we would like to profusely thank Kuldeep JayaPrakash and Yashaswini, Coffee Planters, Kukkankumbri Estate, Hanbal, Sakleshpur for permitting us to shoot pictures of the rare wild leopard cat that was spotted in their ecofriendly plantation. Kuldeep and Yashaswini , love nature and are at the forefront of wildlife conservation. Thanks to their efforts, the Leopard cat population is thriving in their area.

Common Name: English -Leopard Cat  ; Kannada: India- huli bekku

Scientific Name :Prionailurus bengalensis

Body Length-450-950 (mm)

Weight - 3-7 (kg)

Litter Size - 2-3 average

Gestation Period – 60-70 days.

Life Span - 10-15 years 



A fully grown Leopard cat is slightly larger than a big domestic cat and has a fur coat that ranges from yellow brown to grey brown with black spots. The chest and lower head are white in colour, with one distinct white spot on the tip of the ear. The spots may form stripes on areas of the neck and back. The Leopard cat’s name is derived from the widespread leopard like spots on the fur coat.

One must remember that the leopard cat is no way related to the leopard, as the leopard is a member of a different genus, Panthera.


The Leopard cat has the widest geographical distribution and is found in India, Pakistan, China, Burma, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.


The leopard cat easily blends into new environments and is observed in a broad spectrum of habitats from tropical forests to temperate forest. In India the cat is generally found in tropical coffee forests and wooded areas, but can also be found in adjoining scrub and succession grasslands. However, these cats love to dwell closer to streams and water sources, like ponds and lakes. They may also be found at heights up to 3000meteres M.S.L.

The cat is an outstanding tree climber and, also an excellent swimmer. They are arboreal to some extent and rest on the tree canopy. It takes refuge in the hollow of trees or small openings on rocks, devoid of human habitation.


The leopard cat is carnivorous and eats Insects, Amphibians, Small birds, rodents, Fish, snakes, and mammals.

Kuldeep Jayaprakash


Behavioral patterns suggest that the leopard cat is a solitary nocturnal hunter, except during breeding season; but other evidence points out to the fact that these cats hunt both during the day as well as at night.


In many parts of India, the cat is certainly in trouble and has been hunted to extinction. The beautiful, splendid fur coat is used for making hand bags and other delicate bags. Apart from fur, the species continues to be hunted throughout most of its range for food, and as pets. They are also widely viewed as poultry pests and killed in retribution.

The leopard cat is a protected species under the Wild Life Act. In many parts of the Western Ghats the leopard cat population is dwindling due to fragmented habitat and encroachment of forest land towards agriculture and allied activities.

The Leopard cat has been commercially exploited in China. In 1984 exports from China averaged 200,000 skins annually. In 1989 a survey of major Chinese fur companies revealed estimated stockpiles of over 800,000 pelts. Most of the pelts were exported to European Countries but due to international pressure, the European Community imposed an import ban in 1988 and since then Japan has been the main consumer, importing 50,000 skins.


Leopard cats usually pair for life and raise their cubs together for about seven to eleven months. In temperate places, the cat breeds around March or April. The estrus period lasts for 5 to 9 days and the gestation period is for nine to ten weeks. The mother gives birth to three to four kittens. New born kitten open their eyes, ten days after birth and start to eat solid food in three weeks time. If the kittens do not survive, the mother can come into heat again and have another litter that year.


Many foreign Countries permit the rearing of Leopard cats as pets, through a licensing authority. The Asian Leopard cat is often mated with a domestic cat to produce hybrid offspring known as Bengal cat. These hybrids are permitted to be kept as pets without a license on the condition that the Bengal cat should be at least four generations.

Dr Anand & Geeta Pereira - Archives

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by Dr Anand and N Geeta Pereira
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Comment on this article

  • nazran , padil, manglore

    Tue, Aug 30 2011

    hi anand its very very interesting and attractive wild animal God bless your great work.You have the support of our prayer.

  • Franck, France

    Tue, May 10 2011

    Hi Dr Anand and N Geeta Pereira,

    My name is Franck, I come from France and you have beautiful pictures of Asian Leopard Cat, from your website on this link :


    And I would like to ask you, Can I have your permission to use your pictures (5 or 6 photos about) to my website please ?

    Please say me yes, because I don't find another one picture of leopard on internet that I really like. Can I Use this picture please? please

    Please answer me by mail hong.franck@yahoo.fr


  • Stephenl Lewis, Barkur

    Mon, Jan 18 2010

    good information verry good pic. thanks

  • M S Rebello, Kundapur/Mumbai

    Thu, Jan 14 2010

    Classic pictures & info. Kudos to the conservationists

  • Jagadish Anchan, Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 09 2010

    Its really worth of viewing Diajiworld, for providing such beautiful article, Thanks a lot to Dr. Anand Titus Periera for his great work and introducing us all rare wild picture.

  • Sr.Rachana A.C. , Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 09 2010

    Dear Dr.Anand and Geetha Thank you for the wonderful work you do in preserving nature which I have seen when I along with a group of students visited your estate some years ago. God bless your great work.You have the support of our prayer. Sr. Rachana A.C.

  • vivek colaco, Field view Estate Sakleshpur

    Fri, Jan 08 2010

    Dear Anand I love your article of the rare leopard cat. It is very interesting and nice. Thank you

  • Sumathi, bangalore

    Thu, Jan 07 2010

    Leopard cats can easily adapt to a host of environmental conditions but setting traps for rabbits is cause for concern. Thank you for the informative article

  • Sumathi, bangalore

    Thu, Jan 07 2010

    Leopard cats can easily adapt to a host of environmental conditions but setting traps for rabbits is cause for concern. Thank you for the informative article

  • Goutam, Bangalore

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    The leopard cats are also rare to find in captivity. Good pictures of the cat in the wild. Thank you for the splendid effort.

  • Basavaraj, Bangalore

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Addressing wildlife conservation is the key to humanity's survival. Keep educating us Dr.Anand and Geeta on what best we can do to change things for the better.

  • Ashok Frank, Mangalore / Brampton

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Thank You Anand & Geeta for this this article which I have now learnt. The pictures are beautiful. Thank you also for the time that you have been dedicating to educate us in wild life. Ashok

  • shilpa, coorg

    Mon, Jan 04 2010

    Dear Anand and Geeta, great pictures and good information.Our children enjoyed the article. Good work

  • payal!!, mangalore

    Mon, Jan 04 2010

    Dad, I was startled to see these pics. Now on I will watch out when I walk in the estate. You have a keen eye. great work.

  • Anjali, Melbourne/Australia

    Mon, Jan 04 2010

    These rare cats have started to inbreed because of habitat destruction. We need to preserve their genetic diversity by allowing them more space in their natural habitat. Thanks for the lovely pitures and information.

  • Krishnamurthy , London/U.K.

    Mon, Jan 04 2010

    Thanks REALLY WONDEFUL- images for NY

  • Geeta, Kadri

    Mon, Jan 04 2010

    There is one lonely leopard cat at shivaramKaranth Biological park at Pilikula.We should try to get another partner so that the officials could start a breeding programme.

  • John, NewArk/U.S.A

    Mon, Jan 04 2010

    Thank you for the Well informed article. The cat looks like majestic. Beautifu pictures Happy New year and best wishes to all

  • Navneet, Bombay

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Something different and nice for the new year.Thank you all.

  • , Kadri/Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 05 2010

    Leopard cats play an important role in the web of life by stabilizing the ecosystems in and around water bodies , ponds and rivers. Thank you for the nice pictures.

  • Della Rego, Mangalore, Doha, Qatar

    Mon, Jan 04 2010

    Thank you Dr.Anand & Geetha for the wonderful pictures of wild leopard cat with the informative article. Even thanks to Kuldeep & Yashashwini for wildlife conservation. I am always eagerly looking forward your new innovative articles to read, even am preserving most of the eye catching pictures from your report. Through your report you have given the message to preserve the nature's resources, I really appreciate your concern about the nature. Wish you all the best and keep writing with excellent pictures.


    Mon, Jan 04 2010

    Dear Dr Anand & Geeta, Great article and wonderful photographs.Iam sureJoe Uncle would have been very happy and proud of this article.If govt. could permit he would have tamed one of these cats as apet at home and definitely named him Loafer. Good Luck and very best for your further conservation of wild life!

  • Anil & Melita, Mangalore/ UAE

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Dear Anand & Geet.. terrific pictures and article.. As always you never cease to amaze & thrill! Congratulations!! We hope that the magnificence of these rare species is apprecaiated by all including the workers in plantations so that their hunting comes to a standstill.

  • V.Baretto, Bantwal-Bangalore

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Beautiful photographs of the Leopard shot at Hanbal. Keep it up Anand and Geetha and help preserve Nature's precious resources

  • Swathi, Indiana/U.S

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Thank you Dr.Anand & Geeta for your precious time in letting the world know about India's shade grown eco coffee. It is even more rare to have so many partners (wildlife/trees/birds) co exixt inside coffee. My friends will definitely love this link.

  • Jatinder Singh, Virginia, USA

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Thank you Dr. Anand and Geeta for the wonderful article.

  • Rakesh , Bangalore

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Once again dr.Anand and Geeta have proved beyond doubt that coffee forests live in harmony with wild life. Thank you for well written article and rare leopard cat pictures.

  • Dr. Jacob , London/U.K.

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    I Read all your articles with great interest.Educative, informative and accurate. This is a good way to send the message of conservation of wild life.Thank you.

  • ROHAN, Bangalore

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Excellent article and pictures. Thank you.

  • Nihal Joseph, Kadri/mangalore

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    I have read in the books that there are many other types of leopard cats. Kindly enlighten us Thank you for the nice presentation.

  • Veeresh, Newark/U.S.A

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Dr.Anand & Geeta,you have enriched our lives with these beautiful pictures. Count on our support in protecting the earths riches.

  • Nimmoo, Bangalore

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Fine article and nice pictures. Thank you Dr.Anand and Geeta for educating us and bringing up something live for all to see and enjoy. Thank you daiji for encouraging the authors.

  • Ramanand, NewJersey/U.S

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Yet another interesting article highlighting the role of coffee forests in protecting biodiversity. Good work by Dr.Anand and Geeta.

  • sreekesh, Dubai

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    This is really highly informative Than you so much

  • Prashanth, Pune

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    The cat looks magnificent. Nice pictures. I learnt something today!

  • Liza Gina Pais, Mysore

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Dear Dr Anand & Geeta,Very nice article & very good pictures,never knew that a Cat would look like a Leopard,The Leopards are normally bigger in size,This Cat look a like similar to a Leopard is very fortunate to exist in a place like Sakleshpur @ Kuldeep Jayaprakash's,Kukankumbri Estate-Regards Liza Gina Pais(Mysore)

  • Leander Pais, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Dear Uncle Anand & Aunty Geeta,Very nice pictures & it also reminds me on the Leopard pictures you had posted on Daijiworld what you had captured in Kabinni,It seems now the animals are getting closer to your door step,It could be because your love towards the Environment & Wild life photography as well as restoration of wild life-Regards Leander Pais(Mysore)

  • Leona Pais, Pune

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Dear Dr Anand & Geeta,Thank you very much for allowing us to view such beautiful photography through Daijiworld,Continue your good work & keep writing the articles on Environment- Regards Leona Pais(Mysore)

  • Allen Pais, Sidapur(Coorg)

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Dr Anand & Geeta,Wonderful photographs,It is out my imagination to spot such a beautiful elegant Wild Cat during this time of Twenty Ten,The amount of pollution,Poor waste disposal & management techniques,The human nature towards restoring this beautiful environment some times puts me in doubt that we may soon not have the opportunity that you have experienced in the future,I only hope & wish that each one will go through this article & put their part of effort in restoring this immaculate environment & allow the multiplication of these rare species,All the best & once again you have done an excellent job,Very stunning photography,Your contribution will be always recognized-Allen Pais(Perth Western Australia)

  • Terence, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Very nice pictures and a very informative article. Thank you Daiji for posting this article and I'm eager to see more articles on conservation, not only of wildlife but the environment as a whole, be it energy, water (rain water harvesting),forests and other natural resource. We need to educate as many people as possible on the importance of conservation. Great job! Keep it up.

  • Sathyanarayan, Texas/U.S

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Due to shrinking habitats and in breeding, there are quite a few genetic variations in the leopard cat , some of which are categorized as a seperate species. Very informative article Dr.anand and Geeta.

  • Romola pereira, Sakleshpur

    Sat, Jan 02 2010

    This is the second time that Dr.Anand has spotted the leopard cat.Wishing him the very best in the conservation of wildlife.

  • G.H.Shukoor Irthadka, Mata. Uppinangady

    Sun, Jan 03 2010

    Very rare and attractive wild animal.good article thank you Anand and Geetha.thank you daiji.

  • Cedric, Urwa/Mangalore/Dubai

    Sat, Jan 02 2010

    Hi, Amazing pics simply beautiful . Thanks for the knowledge on this species. Keep up the good work you gyus are doing and hoping to read many many more articles on wild life.

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Sat, Jan 02 2010

    It is a very interesting aricle. This is the first time I heard about this kind of cat.

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