Today at Light Future Art, we’re going to share some fun facts about a unique species of wild cat native to the Middle East and Asia, the jungle cat!
1. Because the regions inhabited by jungle cats can be swampy, they are also referred to as “swamp cats” or “reed cats”.
2. Although most jungle cats live in wet or tropical environments, they can also be found in deserts, woodlands, and grasslands from Egypt to Southern China.
3. A hybrid between the jungle cat and domestic cat exists, called the chausie. This name comes from the jungle cat’s scientific name, Felis chaus. Originally, jungle cats were just called chaus as a common name before it was incorporated into their Latin name. This name is inspired by the Caucasus Mountains, where the cat was first discovered.
4. The jungle cat is the largest of all the Felis species, with the largest adults measuring over a foot tall at the shoulder. In their habitat, jungle cats decrease in size on average from west to east.
5. Jungle cats tend to be solitary, though they do occasionally form small groups for mating or family units when there are kittens. The group name for jungle cats is a destruction, a clutter, or a pounce.
6. While jungle cats primarily hunt and have a carnivorous diet, they are actually omnivorous. In the winter when prey is more scarce, jungle cats have been known to include fruit in their diets.
7. Jungle cats can run at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour and are powerful swimmers. It isn’t uncommon for a jungle cat to jump into a river to catch fish.
8. Litters of kittens are usually made up of two or three individuals, but litters can be as large as five kittens. The kittens are reliant on their mothers for the first three months. Mothers may have two litters every year!
9. In the wild, the fathers do not take part in raising their kittens. In captivity, however, the fathers are generally very protective over their offspring.
10. In the past, there have been as many as 10 subspecies of jungle cats proposed, but the most recent research indicates that there are probably only three subspecies: Felis chaus chaus (Africa and the Middle East), Felis chaus affinis (Eastern Middle Eat and India), and Felis chaus fulvidina (South-Eastern Asia).
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