Genus: Leopardus (Total members of this genus: Pampas cat, Geoffrey’s cat, Guinea cat, Andean Mountain cat, Ocelot, Little Spotted cat, Margay cat)
Species: Leopardus geoffroyyi
Geoffrey’s cat lives across southern South America, east of the Andes. Along with the Puma, it is the most southern dwelling of all the world’s wild cat species. Size varies some with this species (it’s generally about the size of a domestic cat) but big boys can get up to 17 lbs (7.8 kg). Weights range from anywhere between 4-17 lbs (1.8-7.8 kg). Their base coats can be a little more reddish or grayish depending on what region they live in but they are always covered in smallish black spots of equal size all over their bodies with black stripes on their necks and head. Sometimes melanistic ones are born (all black).
Geoffrey’s cat can handle all kinds of habitats but prefers scrubland/ grassland plains and isn’t found in dense rainforests or above 3,000 meters (9,900 feet). It’s a solitary cat who hunts at night and twilight (crepuscular) and actually spends a lot of time in trees. They sleep in trees, poop from them, and mate in them. It is probable they hunt in the trees as well. Kittens are fearless of heights.
Geoffrey’s cats eat what the typical smallish cat eats: rodents, birds, little reptiles and amphibians. They eat fish too and are accomplished swimmers even in fast current. Female Geoffrey cats have a modest range (2.5 km or 8200 feet) and the males have a territory three times that size. Female Geoffreys cats sometimes will have overlapping ranges, and male territory will overlap several females’ but never another males’.
They are one of the most numerous cat species in South America but also one of the most hunted (as many as 150,000 pelts are traded annually).