When you picture a wild cat, you might envision large felines, like tigers and jaguars. But there is a small wild cat who more closely resembles your ordinary house cat than a 200-pound lion.
Meet the rusty spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus), the world’s smallest wild cat. (The black-footed cat of Africa is a close second.)
With adults weighing in at roughly 2 pounds, rusty spotted cats are about the size of a 2-month-old domestic kitten.
The diminutive wild cat, native to India and Sri Lanka, is featured in the BBC’s new wildlife documentary “Big Cats,” which premiered on Jan. 11. A preview of the first episode shows the rusty spotted cat, which is classified as near threatened, exploring his forest home in Sri Lanka.
The small stature and kitten-like meow might elicit lots of “awws” (seriously, we can’t stop squeeing over it’s tiny kitten voice), but these cats are fierce little predators, hunting rodents and birds as well as lizards, frogs and insects.
“What he lacks in size, he makes up for in daring,” the “Big Cats” narrator says over footage of a rusty spotted cat wading across a small creek.
Yep, sounds just like our house cats. They’re all wild jungle cats at heart.