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Species Facts

Although the marbled cat weighs just three kg, it possesses an odd mixture of small cat and big cat characteristics.

  • Scientific Designation: Pardofelis marmorata
  • Endangered Status: Near Threatened (NT)
  • Lifespan: Up to 12 years
  • Weight: 2-6 kg
  • Body Length: 45-61 cm
  • Shoulder Height: 28 cm
  • Tail Length: 35-55 cm


The marbled cat's enlarged canines, blotched coat pattern, and broad feet resemble those of the larger clouded leopard. It has a short, broad face, rounded ears, and an extremely long, bushy tail. The coat is thick and soft, with well-developed woolly underfur. The background color can vary from dark gray-brown to yellowish gray to red-brown. The flanks and back are strikingly marked with large, irregular dark-edged blotches, while the legs and underparts are patterned with black spots.

Very little is known about the habits of this cat. However, it is believed to be nocturnal and more arboreal in its habits. Its diet most likely consists of birds, squirrels, rats, and possibly lizards and frogs.

Map shows South East Asia, with fragmented regions filled in from Nepal all the way down into Indonesia, showing where the marbled cat is extant (or resident).

Species Distribution

Found from sea level up to elevations reaching 3,000 meters, the marbled cat’s distribution lies throughout northern India, Nepal, Sikkim, Assam, and south through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo. 

Distribution map courtesy of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), compiled in 2015.

Threats to the Marbled Cat

Although the marbled cat is believed to be rare, there is little information available to indicate its current status. Threats to the marbled cat include habitat destruction and habitat loss. The marbled cat seems sensitive to, and intolerant of, human disturbance.

The marbled cat is classified as Near Threatened (NT)) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and protected under appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

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