What you see here is not a kitten that have lost its way in the woods. It is a rusty-spotted cat (scientifically known as Prionailurus rubiginosus) and rusty-spotted cat isn’t a feral cat or a domesticated cat; it belongs to the big cat family, or more correctly, the wild cat family. It is the world’s smallest big cat native to forest in India, Sri Lanka and some parts of Nepal.
This particular example in a documentary by BBC was found living in a forest in Sri Lanka. While it may look like a kitten and even sounded like one, believe or not, this little guy here is nearly a fully grown adult. Rusty-spotted cat typically grows to 35-48 cm (14-19 inches) in body length and weighs in at around 0.9-1.6 kilograms (2-3.5 lbs).
Take a moment and have a good look at him. It is hard to believe he actually belongs to the big cat family, don’t you think? I mean, seriously, he’s so adorable and big cats aren’t quite known for their cuteness. Rusty-spotted cat is not the only breed of small big cat though. There’s also the black-footed cat, lauded as the smallest African cat.
Well, I guess little Rusty isn’t the smallest big cat after all. If anything, it shares the title with the black-footed cat which can grow up to 36.7-43.3 (14.4-17 inches) body length. Rusty-spotted cat was featured in a BBC documentary Big Cats aired last year, in 2018. Big Cats is a documentary series that digs into the secret lives of, well, cats, obviously.
Images and source: YouTube (BBC).