In 2012, it was also recorded in the western Teri of Nepal. Since 2016, the global wild population is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List as it is fragmented and affected by loss and destruction of prime habitat, deciduous forests.
Illustration of a skull The rusty-spottedcat has a short reddish gray fur over most of the body with rusty spots on the back and flanks. Four blackish lines run over the eyes, and two of them extend over the neck.
Six dark streaks are on each side of the head, extending over the cheeks and forehead. Its chin, throat, inner side of the limbs and belly are whitish with tiny brownish spots.
Rusty-spottedcat in its natural habitation Sri Lanka, there are a few records in montane and lowland rainforest. In 2016, it was recorded for the first time in Horton Plains National Park at elevations of 2,084–2,162 m (6,837–7,093 ft).
Captive ones are mostly nocturnal but also briefly active during the day. At Horton Plain National Park in Sri Lanka, they were mostly recorded between sunset and sunrise, with limited daytime activity.
Several individuals were observed hiding in trees and in caves. It feeds mainly on rodents and birds, but also preys on lizards, frogs, and insects.
It hunts primarily on the ground, making rapid, darting movements to catch its prey. It apparently ventures into trees to escape larger predators.
Captive females and males both scent-mark their home range by spraying urine. The female'estrus lasts five days, and mating is unusually brief.
Since the female is likely to be vulnerable during this period, its brevity may be an adaptation to help it avoid larger predators. She prepares a den in a secluded location, and after a gestation of 65–70 days gives birth to one or two kittens.
At birth, the kittens weigh just 60 to 77 g (2.1 to 2.7 oz), and are marked with rows of black spots. They reach sexual maturity at around 68 weeks, by which time they have developed the distinctive adult coat pattern of rusty blotches.
Rusty-spotted cats have lived for twelve years in captivity, but their lifespan in the wild is unknown. Habitat loss and the spread of cultivation are serious problems for wildlife in both India and Sri Lanka.
There have been occasional reports of rusty-spottedcat skins in trade. In some areas, it is hunted for food or as livestock pest.
Rusty-spottedcat in Berlin Zoo, 2008The Indian population is listed on CITES Appendix I. The Sri Lankan population is included on CITES Appendix II.
The species is fully protected over most of its range, with hunting and trade banned in India and Sri Lanka. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.).
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IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland. Rusty-spotted cat in Sri Lanka: observations of an arid zone population”.
Rusty spotted cat Felix rubiginosa Geoffrey: A new record for Air Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park”. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society.
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Rusty-spotted Cat in Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve”. “Range extension of rusty-spotted cat to the Indian Teri”.
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Rusty-spotted Cat in Caesar National Park and Sanctuary, Haryana, India”. Wildlife Inventory and Proposal for Sloth Bear Conservation Reserve in Marihan-Sukrit-Chunar Landscape of Mirzam Forest Division, Uttar Pradesh.
^ Nimalrathna, T.; Chew, Y. R.; Kudavidanage, E.; Amarasinghe, T.; Bandana, U.; Wanninayaka, W.; Ravindrakumar, P.; Chub, M.A.H. “First photographic record of the Rusty-spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus (I. Geoffrey Saint-Nazaire, 1831) (Mammalian: Carnivora: Felipe) in Horton Plains National Park, Sri Lanka”.
“Preliminary survey of small cats in Eastern Gujarat, India”. Rusty-spotted cat in Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh State, India”.
^ Cassava, A.; Bi pin, C. M.; Polanski, R. & Singh, A. “Record of rusty-spotted cat from Juno Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh, India”.
International Register and Studbook for the Rusty-Spotted Cat Prionailurus rubiginosus Phillips (Po cock, 1939) (PDF). The Fauna of Sri Lanka: Status of Taxonomy, Research, and Conservation.
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