Amur forest cat (Far Eastern leopard cat)


The Amur forest cat is a mammal, a predatory animal of the cat family. This breed has a close relationship with the Bengal (Asian) cat. The second name of the Amur forest cat is “leopard”. He received it because of its color, similar to the colors of a leopard.

The relatives of the Amur forest cat live in warm lands. Surprisingly, his ancestors fell into the territory of the taiga. This is also explained by the fact that perhaps it was once much warmer here than it is now. After the change of poles and cooling, these amazingly beautiful cats had to somehow adapt to the harsh climatic conditions of Russia.

In Russia, a wild cat lives in the Far East, in the Amur region and the Ussuri region. Outside the Russian Federation, it settles on the coast of the Sea of ​​Japan, in China and the Indian Subcontinent.

The habitat of the forest cat is overgrown with shrubs of river valleys, lakeside reed thickets, low foothills covered with mixed forest. Usually the Amur cat does not rise high in the mountains. It tolerates cold, harsh winters, but is completely unsuited to life in snowy regions.

Representatives of the Amur forest cat breed are the smallest among Asian cats. According to the description of the breed and appearance, they are no different from pets:

  • The weight of an adult individual varies from 4 to 8 kg.
  • The body is strong and muscular. Its length, together with the tail, is about a meter.
  • The head is small and elongated.
  • The eyes are large, have a deep landing and are located at a short distance from each other.
  • Ears are rounded in shape.
  • The powerful paws of this animal are longer than that of the domestic cat, and are equipped with short and strong claws.

The coat of the Amur forest cat is very thick and soft. The color may have different variations from gray-sand to yellow-brown. Oval reddish spots are scattered throughout the body. They may have a blurry or clear outline. Thanks to these stains, similar to ancient Chinese coins, in China it is called the “money cat”. On the back are three distinct bands, on the throat and chest are a few more bands and two light ones pass along the forehead.

The Far Eastern forest cat is a lonely nocturnal predator. He is quite shy and cautious, so it is very difficult to detect. In the event of danger has the habit of climbing trees. Amur forest cat prefers to hunt from ambush, overtaking the victim with a deft leap. He hunts beautifully both on the ground and in the trees.

In the diet of a wild cat includes rodents, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, fish and snakes. He can also handle larger animals such as hares or young roe deer. He usually hides the remnants of uneaten prey by burying him in the snow, and after a while returns to eat them. Despite the fearfulness and caution, the severe frosts compel these cats to approach human housing and hunt rodents and poultry in old houses.

Next to a wild forest cat, larger felines also live — lynx, leopard, and tiger. Meeting with them can end for him pitiably, so he tries to avoid them. But it is worth noting that Amur forest cats have a rather sharp temper and tremendous strength for their size. Without delay, they are capable of engaging with an enemy larger than theirs.

This feline, this representative of the cat family prefers to organize in the hollows of old trees and rocky crevices. He also uses old, abandoned burrows of badgers and foxes. The bottom of your home is usually covered with dry foliage and grass. There are several temporary shelters in the forest cat's residence, which he visits from time to time. In the harsh winter enjoys one - the safest.

People tried to tame a forest cat more than once. The positive results of such experiments are very low:

  • At home, the longevity of these cats is short.
  • Wildlife predators pose a danger to sharing with other pets. Yes, and he treats man with wariness.
  • Even if you tame a tiny newborn kitten, he will still have the desire to escape into the forest.


Amur cat is distributed in the Far East. it can be found in the Amur River basin, as well as on the coast of the Japanese Sea. These animals are legal residents of Lazovsky, Bolshekhtshirsky, Khanka and Ussuri reserves, as well as the Kedrovaya Pad biosphere reserve. It is known that some "travelers" even came to the Trans-Baikal Territory. According to preliminary estimates of specialists of these cats, there are only about 2000 individuals, and maybe less, no one really bothers with their counting.

Video about wild Amur cats:

What does the Amur forest cat look like?

The Amur forest cat is a small animal, its weight ranges from 4-8 kg. The body length of 60-90 cm of which about 40 cm falls on the tail. Cats are noticeably larger than cats. How does the Amur cat can be seen in the photo.

The head of Amur cats is rounded, forehead high. The ears are set very broadly small, rounded, directed forward and slightly to the sides. The eyes are large, expressive, set a little slanting and close to each other. The nose is wide, straight with a large, expressive lobe of brown color. Well-pronounced small rounded pads for vibrissae, which are complemented by a strong chin.

In 2004, the Amur cat was depicted on a silver coin from the “Red Book of Russia” series with a denomination of 1 ruble.

Amur cats are strong, well-knit animals on high legs with well-developed muscles and thick coat. The color is grayish-yellow in the lower part of the body and grayish-brown at the top. Rounded auburn spots are scattered on the body, and dark clear stripes adorn the head and face.

Lifestyle and habits

Very little is known about the life and habits of Amur cats, apparently because they were always in the shadow, in the shadow of trees and Amur tigers.

There is evidence that Amur cats are monogamous, that is, they choose a mate for life. This is not typical for cats and is in doubt. It is reliably known that the cat helps the cat to raise offspring. Amur cats reach puberty very early. Already at the age of 1 year, they are ready to give offspring. They mate, as befits the cats, in March. pregnancy lasts 60-70 days. Amur cats in the litter rarely have more than four kittens. Life expectancy is 16-17 years.

Cats hunt more often at dusk. The menu consists mainly of small animals, rodents and birds. In general, Amur cats hunt for anything less than themselves. Sometimes they are not averse to eat reptiles, insects, and in rare cases fish. If you are lucky and the Amur cat stumbles upon the remains of a tiger or leopard feast, then you will not have to hunt. Cupids wonderfully climb trees, hiding on the tops of natural enemies.

It is difficult to say how aggressive these cats are, when meeting people, they try to get away and do not come close to the anthropogenic zone. Although hunger is not an aunt. In 2010, Far Eastern cats, due to the long cold winter, began to make regular raids on chicken coops in the Primorsky Territory. As soon as the snow began to go, there were no cats.

Amur cats do not like friable snow. During the snowfall, they may not leave the shelter for weeks until the crust is formed. They live in abandoned burrows of other animals, in the warm season they make nests for themselves in the reeds and roots of trees. Usually the cat has several temporary shelters on the site and only in the winter there is one, the most comfortable and safe.

Study of the Amur cat by felinologists from WCS (video):


Like other wildcats, the Amur forest cat is very difficult to tame. In addition, it is characterized by secrecy, which prevents to integrate into human society. It is worth saying that nobody tried to tame them too much. Amur cats are unremarkable and could not interest cat owners.

Amur cats contain some zoos. In captivity, animals breed well, but people continue to be wary of people. If someone still wants to have an Amur cat, it will have to be kept in a rather spacious aviary. You can feed small rodents and birds once a day.

Amur forest cat: description

Amur forest cat is not much larger than its domestic counterparts, and even inferior to some of them. The average length of such a cat is about 70–90 centimeters. Half of this length falls on a thick and lush tail. The legs are longer than other wildcats.

The weight of even the largest individuals usually does not exceed 7 kilograms. True, it is very dependent on the season: wild Far Eastern cats hunt a lot and successfully in the summer, accumulating fat, and often starve in the winter, losing weight greatly.

The fur coat of such a cat is grayish-yellow or grayish-brown with dark round spots (for them in China these animals were called money cats). Young animals have more spots than “aged” cats. The fur is thick and long - up to 5 centimeters.

Along the ridge usually go 3 dark brown stripes, a few lanes - across the neck. The drawing of light and dark stripes on the forehead is a kind of passport of a cat, it is individual and never repeats. Chin, neck and chest - dirty white.

The head is small, rounded. The muzzle is very expressive; it is impossible to confuse the Amur cat with other representatives of the cat family. On a wide and short nose - stripe of wool. Eyes deep set, round, yellow. Ears are rounded and small, with a dark border, but without brushes.

Amur forest cat: a house for a hermit

The motherland of the Amur cat, as is already clear from its name, is the Far East. In our country, the animal is found in the Amur River basin and on the coast of the Sea of ​​Japan. Far Eastern cats also live in Japan (they call him Tsushima's leopard cat), in China, on the Korean Peninsula.

The individual territory of each individual can reach 10 square kilometers. For the life of this small predator, despite the "unsociable" character, does not choose an impassable dense forest. His favorite habitats are the edges, woods, cuttings and gravels, thickets of shrubs and reeds along the banks of reservoirs, overgrown with high grass meadows.

High in the mountains, the predator prefers not to climb - it is believed that it is not in his rules to "conquer" peaks more than half a kilometer in height. In winter, the Far Eastern cat generally prefers the valleys of rivers and lakes to the mountains.

Usually in the territory of each animal there are several "apartments" that the cat uses - it can be both crevices in stones and hollows of trees. Do not hesitate to tail and abandoned burrows of other predators - for example, badgers and foxes. For coziness it lines the floor of its dwelling with wood dust, fallen leaves and dry grass.

Amur forest cat: hunting and attitude to man

This wild beast is extremely cautious and leads a twilight lifestyle, so not much is known about its habits. He runs well on his long paws, swims, jumps well (to a height of 2.5 meters!) And remarkably climbs trees thanks to his long, curved and strong claws.

The cat hunts under cover of darkness. Its main prey is mice and birds, but the predator also does not hesitate with any other rodents, lizards, fish. You can see a photo in which the Amur forest cat, this lucky hunter, keeps a hare in his teeth, and sometimes, they say, the roe deer can also become his prey.

This small predator prefers to stay away from man. The only thing that can force him to come close to human habitation is hunger. It is winter that most often Amur forest cat falls into human hands. Some are caught when they drag poultry in the villages.

Interesting cases

But there are some funny cases. In order to study the life of these rare animals, zoological scientists in the Far East put cats on radio collars. But, of course, a wild cat will not go for it voluntarily. Therefore, special trap cages with tasty bait are put in the forest.

So, one mustache savage, who was put on a radio collar and released free, liked the delicacy so much that he literally settled near the trap in anticipation of a new batch of treats. And what was the surprise of scientists, when they repeatedly found in the trap of the same cat, already with a collar around his neck!

But this case is, of course, an exception. Wild Far East cats are practically not tamed, they are very shy and, being caught, tend to escape at the first opportunity. But they never attack a person, only desperately defending themselves. In the wild, such predators live 10–15, sometimes up to 18 years.

Amur forest cat: breeding

The voice of Amur forest cats can be heard only at the end of winter and early spring, when they begin to “sing” in search of a pair. The rest of the time, cats only hiss or snort. Those who have heard these call-up sounds say that they sound awesome, although they look like ordinary cat roulades.

In the mating season, forest cats can live in pairs, although in the rest of the time they prefer loneliness. Blind kittens appear in late April-early May. There may be up to 4 kittens in the litter, which, not to some data, live with the mother for up to one and a half years.

Blondes - a definite "no"!

By the way, an experiment conducted at the beginning of the two thousand years showed that Amur forest cats can produce offspring paired with ordinary cats from Southeast Asia. At the same time, it turned out that the partners of the red and brown colors are “cute”, but the white ones are absolutely not. Attitude towards such domestic cats was extremely aggressive.

In addition, the scientists found out that the captive-born Amur forest cats adapt perfectly to the wild. Employees of the Vladivostok Institute of Biology and Soil made sure of this by freeing 3 adults and 32 young animals. This gives hope that the population of this rare species can be restored if desired.

Amur forest cat: known about the unknown

The Amur forest cat has opened many secrets to scientists, and there have been no reports about the number of this Far Eastern predator. There is only an assumption that in Russia there are no more than 2.5 thousand. However, despite this, the Amur forest cat is not listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation, it is protected only in several areas of the Far East.

But on a silver ruble coin from the “Red Book” series a Far Eastern cat was depicted. Honorable, of course. But I would very much like the obverse of this coin not to be the only place where you can see this wonderful predator.

Amur cat grace

The body of a Far Eastern forest cat is muscular and elongated, legs long. Small head with rounded ears and close-set eyes. Cat hair is soft and fluffy.

And above color Nature tried from the heart:

The main color of the upper coat is a mixture of yellow and gray tones with clear or blurry dark spots of brown color.

  • On the back of the Amur specimens the coat is darker, the sides have a lighter color. Wool on belly painted in dirty white with yellow tints. On the paws there are transverse dark stripes.
  • From the eyes on the forehead is a pair of white stripes, and the distance between them is colored brown with a red tint of color.
  • The hair on the tail is more dense gray with a dark or even black color of the tip of the tail.
  • The habitual way of life of a forest animal

    Far Eastern cats live both alone and in pairs. However, in the season of increasing offspring, several individuals can live together peacefully. Each cat has its own tagged possession from 5 to 9 square kilometers.

    Predators prefer night and twilight lifestyle. Amur cats are timid and cautious, so in nature they are not easy to detect. They lie in wait for prey sitting in an ambush on the ground or in the trees. Forest cat is able to catch prey in one jump. Most often, the Amur Far East cats have shelters in tree hollows, crevices of rocks or among thickets of bushes. Sometimes old badger or fox holes are used.

    In winter, cats descend from the mountains to the valleys. Possessing thin short legs, it's hard for them to move in deep snow. Often the Amur forest fur seals wait for a few days in the shelter until the crust is formed. The amount of fat accumulated by the winter, allows you to fast and wait for suitable conditions for hunting. In severe frosts, they “graze” closer to people, where they often feed on rodents, but can climb into a village henhouse and eat chickens or ducks. Primorye residents know that if a snowy, frosty winter has arrived, then wait for a guest.

    Far Eastern forest cats feed on rodents, chipmunks, squirrels, can catch a bird or, having destroyed a nest, try eggs.

    There are cases of attacks on young deer. Unlike home, Amur cats are excellent swimmers. Поэтому охотятся за лягушками, ловят рыбу.

    Среда обитания

    Амурские лесные мурлыки на территории России живут на Дальнем Востоке, на побережье Японского моря и на берегах Амура. Кроме того, они живут в Китае, Японии, Корее, Пакистане, на острове Ява. Привычные места обитания — это непроходимые леса, чащи кустарников, тростниковые заросли или травянистые луга. Живут на склонах гор, но выше 500 метров в горы не поднимаются. Excellent climb on rocks and trees, swim well.


    The time of multiplication in Amur cats comes at the end of winter, the beginning of spring. Babies are born in May. Far Eastern forest southerners can breed throughout the year. Marriage acquaintances are accompanied by loud cries.

    The gestation period of a cat is from 65 to 72 days. Amur can give birth to four kittens. But usually born 1-2 kittens. The weight of babies born is no more than 80 grams. Kittens open their eyes in two weeks. Mama cat constantly takes care of the kittens and at the slightest threat carries to a new shelter. The father also takes an active part in the development of kittens.

    At the age of one and a half months, the youngsters get out of the shelter and get acquainted with the new territory. By the fall, grown up and strong, the seals leave the maternal orphanage and become independent, living their own territory. Puberty in forest cats occurs no earlier than 18 months.

    Amur Far Eastern cat and man (life in captivity)

    Far Eastern cat can be raised as a pet or kept in the yard in the aviary. For a home, it is advisable to take a kitten not older than three months and better from a nursery. But it must be remembered that when puberty is attained, the behavior of the animal becomes uncontrollable.

    Amur cat living in the house, quickly gets used to the tray. Most often, cats adapt to their owners and avoid strangers. The favorites in the room need to walk often for receiving ultraviolet rays and for feeding cat litter in summer.

    Content in the aviary

    The minimum size of the enclosure is 1.5x1.5 meters and up to 3 meters high. Paul better to lay out the boards. Also need to adjust the tray. For cat litter, sand or sawdust can be used as a filler. In the aviary, there must be a weather booth with a bed of straw or rags. The drinking bowl can be installed at a small height. If the size of the enclosure allows, you can install the cuts of trees of different heights in the form of a terrace for climbing cats.

    Food in captivity

    Preferred feed for Far Eastern cat kept in captivity - low-fat beef about 200 grams per day. However, without a “live feed”, maintaining the normal physiological activity of an animal and its reproduction in captivity is often impossible.

    Eating in nature with mice, rats, poultry, cats eat not only meat, but the skins and small bones of animals. This food is physiologically necessary for normal functioning of the stomach. So besides the meat, the Far Eastern forest cat needs to be given a couple of mice or a rat. Feed the animal once a day.

    In addition, the necessary and so-called fasting days, when cats are given scarce food.

    It is necessary to include in the diet and meadow grass. A hunger strike is a natural condition of animals living in nature. This is an important condition for keeping in an open-air cage, as not consuming a large amount of energy, cats grow fat and can get sick.

    Active lifestyle

    For the full development of animals at homeYou need to maintain constant activity of cats:

    Various games should be included in daily communication. You can throw a rope through the grid and play with him in tug-of-war.

  • They should have all sorts of balls, an artificial mouse, suspended on a rope, a cloth rolled up in tight bundles. All this will occupy the pet, and maintain its physical activity.
  • To save the function of smell in the aviary should be bunches of herbs. Favorite delicacy - this is the grass of dreams and wheat grass.
  • Up to 10 years old, Amur forest cats live in their habitat. In captivity live to 15 years.
  • Far Eastern Forest Cat and Red Book

    Amur Forest Cats listed in the Red Book of Russia. Scientists have noted an increase in the population in recent years. The number of Amur cats in Primorye, there are about 2.5 thousand individuals. In Japan, the number of Tsushima cats is small and is about 110 individuals. In the zoos live 32 cats. This species of predator in Japan is under state protection.

    The main threat to cats living in the wild are the increasing frequency of forest fires, deforestation and man conquering an increasing number of virgin lands, as well as climate change on the planet.

    Is it worth getting the Amur cat?

    Amur cat cost is very high - from 80 to 100 thousand rubles, but its content will be even more expensive and troublesome. Therefore, think carefully about whether you have enough strength, money, love and patience for this animal. Probably a sane person will make the right decision not to please his ambitions.

    People need to understand that the place of wild cats in the natural environment, among forests and fields. And for comfort, you can make a homemade purr, which will answer you in return and love.

    Description of Amur Forest Cat

    The body is elongated, muscular and sturdy. The head is small, elongated, vibrissae are long. On the nose there is a wide bare strip. Upper canines are thick and long. Paws of medium length, they end in small claws. The ears are rounded, there are no brushes on their tips. The thin tail is covered with fluffy dense fur.

    The coat is short, thick and fluffy. Winter fur is lighter and thicker than summer. The guard hairs are 4.9 centimeters in length. Fur color from gray-yellow to red-brown or dirty-brown. Lower body and sides are lighter than the back. On the body there are oval spots of auburn color with black or blurry edging.

    On the back passes three brown-black stripes, which are formed from elongated narrow spots. Sometimes these bands can merge into one wide strip. On the throat is 4 or 5 transverse red-brown stripes. On the front legs there are cross strips. There are spots on the belly too, but they are brighter. The tail is usually solid dark gray or reddish, its tip is dark gray or black.

    On each side of the head, 2 whitish stripes run across the forehead from the eyes, and between them there is a reddish-brown strip that runs from the nose to the neck. The nose is gray-red, the throat and chest are off-white, the chin is white. Ears outside are white with a dark border, and the tips are reddish-white. Young spots have more spots than adults.

    Near the lake Khanka the cat met throughout the habitable area.

    Lifestyle of Far Eastern Forest Cats

    These animals can live alone or in pairs, but in the breeding season several individuals gather together. Each cat has its own individual plot of 5-9 square km. These predators are nocturnal and twilight. Amur forest cats are shy and incredulous, they are difficult to detect. They attack prey from an ambush, which they arrange on the ground or on trees.

    Far Eastern forest cat reaches the victim in one leap.

    In winter, Amur cats migrate from the mountains to the valleys and to the top of the hills from which snow is blown away by the wind. During severe frosts, they can approach the housing of people, where rodents are caught in old buildings.

    If a Far Eastern cat is in danger, he is saved in a tree. They make shelters in hollows, crevices of rocks or among dense bushes, they also gladly use abandoned burrows of badgers and foxes. The bottom of the den is insulated with wood dust, foliage and grass.

    Amur forest cats can climb trees, rocks and swim perfectly. At the site of the predator there are several temporary shelters. In winter, the permanent safest dwelling is used.

    Far Eastern forest cats feed on rodents, chipmunks, squirrels, Manchurian hares, birds and their eggs. Sometimes they can attack larger victims, such as young deer and roe deer.

    The life span of Amur forest cats in nature is 8-10 years, and in captivity they can live up to 15 years.

    In the diet of the Amur forest cat can include frogs and insects.

    Breeding leopard tsushima cats

    The breeding season of Amur cats in the northern parts of the range occurs in February-March, and their kittens are born in May. In the southern parts of the range, Far Eastern forest cats can breed throughout the year. In marriage time, they make quite loud and staccant screams. A pair is formed during estrus in a cat. The male takes an active part in raising babies.

    Pregnancy lasts 65-72 days. In the litter there are 1-2 kittens, a maximum of 4 babies can be. They are helpless and blind, weighing no more than 80 grams. The kittens' eyes open after 10 days. The female takes care of the kittens, and if they are in danger, takes them to a new shelter. At the age of 50 days, young cats get out of the den and examine the nearest territory. At 4 months, the females already weigh 2.4 kilograms, and the males - 3.2 kilograms. At 6 months, the kittens become independent and leave the mother, looking for their own hunting area. According to some data, puberty in Amur forest cats occurs at 8-10 months, but according to other information, they mature no earlier than 18 months.

    One Amur forest cat brings up to four kittens, in which the male takes part.

    Far Eastern Forest Cat Population

    Amur forest cats are in the Red Book of Russia. They are protected by the CITES Convention (Appendix II). Recently, the population size began to grow.

    The main threat to the species is the loss of habitats: plowing of lands, deforestation, fires. Also on the number of Amur cats affects hunting, weather conditions and hybridization with domestic cats.

    Amur forest cat - a rare subspecies, is listed in the Red Book of Primorsky Krai.

    The largest density of Far Eastern steppe cats is observed in the Khasan and Khanka districts of Primorsky Krai, it is 3-4 individuals per 10 square kilometers. The approximate number of Amur forest cats in the Primorye Territory is 2-2.5 thousand individuals.

    The number of leopard cat Tsushima on the island is extremely low, it does not exceed 80-110 individuals. There are 32 cats in Japanese zoos. In Japan, these predators are protected by the state.