World’s Smallest Cat
The rusty spotted cat or Prionailurus Rubiginosus is the smallest cat in history till now. This cat is seen in the forest of India and Sri Lanka even in some parts of Nepal. It is known as the smallest cat because its length ranges between 35 to 48cm in length and it weights only 0.9 to 1.6kg.
After the analysis of DNA samples from all the Felidae species(family of mammals which is carnivora) came up with the conclusion that the DNA matches and evolved in Asia around 14.45 to 8.38 million years ago.
The very first name given for rusty-spotted cat was Felis rubiginosa given by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1831. After 27 years later, Nikolai Severtzov renamed Prionailurus as a generic name. Reginald Innes gave the final name as Prionailurus Rubiginosus.
The cat has possibly diverged from the ancestors between 6.54 to 3.42 million year ago.
Characteristics of rusty spotted cat
These cats have a very short soft reddish grey fur. The white line passes through their inner edges of the eye. Their eyes are fairly bigger than the normal cats. It’s also seen that the tail is half the length of their body respectively. These cats can easily fit into our arms.
The cats come under the wild cats. Its length is between 35 to 48 cm , tail is about 15 to 20cm, and it weighs only 0.9 to 1.6kg .
Distribution and Habitat
Rusty spotted cats are generally described as a non domestic cats because of their wild nature. These cats are primarily seen in India and Sri Lanka whereas they are even spotted in dense forests of Nepal. They. prefer to stay in highly dense vegetation forests and mainly in moist and dry deciduous forests.
Apart from India, Sri Lanka and Nepal , this cat was also observed in Gujarat’s Gir National Park, Maharashtra’s Tadoba- Andhari Tiger Reserve and Eastern Ghats , Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in Terai, Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary in Maharashtra. It was also spotted in forest of Haryana and Mirzapur forest
Behavior and Ecology
The existence of these cats are limited and so they are of shy nature. In this cat there are different natures in which few cats are nocturnal but also active during the day. And few cats show up during the day time. These cats are dependent upon Lizards, insects, frogs, birds and many small species. The male and female cat urinate to draw their boundary.
It was also known that the skin of rusty spotted cats were traded. Although the major problem arises due to habitat destruction in wild life.
The species is fully protected from illegal activities like hunting and trading.
Thus, we cannot adopt a Rusty spotted cat because of its wild behavior. These cats have an inbuilt nature of living in forests or dry lands.