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Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus)

Oncilla | Leopardus tigrinus photo
Leopardus tigrinus, Zoo Praha
Photograph by Altaipanther. License: Public Domain.


The Oncilla (Little Spotted Cat) is similar in appearance to the Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and the Margay (Leopardus wiedii). The Oncilla is the smallest of the three with shorter tail and relatively larger eyes and ears. The fur is tawny brown along the back and whiter on the underside. The body is patterned with rosette shaped spots. Kittens are also spotted. All black coloured cats are common (melanism).

Other Names

Little spotted cat, Tiger cat


Head and body length: 45cm - 65cm. Tail length: 25cm - 33cm. Weight: 1.5kg - 3kg (average 2.25kg). Males are slightly larger than females


found in subtropical forests and montane cloud forests to 3,000m. Also found in thorn scrub, dry deciduous forests, areas affected by deforestation.


Oncillas feed on small mammals such as rodents and small birds. Sometimes catch small primates in Brazil.


Female cats give birth to a litter of one to three (average two) kittens after a gestation period of 74 - 78 days. The young are weaned after about 55 days.


Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela.

Conservation Status

The conservation status in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "vulnerable".

Relatives in same Genus
  Colocolo (L. colocolo)
  Geoffroy's Cat (L. geoffroyi)
  Kodkod (L. guigna)
  Andean Cat (L. jacobitus)
  Pampas cat (L. pajeros)
  Ocelot (L. pardalis)
  Margay (L. weidii)

Margay | Leopardus weidii photo
Leopardus tigrinus (Prague Zoo)
Photograph by Bodlina. Some rights reserved.