Leopard cat, forest-dwelling cat, of the family Felidae, found across India, Southeast Asia, and nearby islands. The leopard cat is noted for its leopard-like coloring.
Since 2002 it has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List as it is widely distributed, although threatened by habitat loss and hunting in parts of its range. Leopard cat subspecies differ widely in fur color, tail length, skull shape and size of carnassials. Archaeological evidence indicates that the leopard cat was the first cat species domesticated in Neolithic China about 5,000 years ago. The coat of the leopard cat is usually yellowish or reddish brown above, white below, and heavily marked with dark spots and streaks. Length of the animal ranges from 45 to 75 cm (18 to 30 inches), excluding the 23–35-cm (9–13.8-inch) tail. The leopard cat is a nocturnal hunter, preying on birds and small mammals.
Being excellent swimmers, Leopard cats have colonized offshore islands throughout the area of their distribution.
These animals are interbred with domestic cats, yielding a species called Bengal cat, which is globally kept as a house pet.
Males of this species are called “toms”, females are referred to as “queens”, whereas offspring are known as “kittens”.
Leopard cats typically sleep in hollow trees or caves.