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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Purrrfect Facts About The Pampas Cat Kids Will Love

Pampas cat facts are enjoyed by kids.

Leopardus colocolo, or generally called the pampas cats or just colocolo is a species of wild cats that is comparatively smaller in size than other wild cats with more resemblance to heavily built domestic cats. These cats are distributed all over the South American continent. The thickness of their fur varies according to the climate of their natural environment. Leopardus colocolo is found in a large number of countries of the continent like Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, and in the southwestern part of Colombia. They show the most diversified choices of habitat among all South American cats. Pampas cat has become a rare species throughout most parts of its distribution. In the wild, they cannot be seen during the day as they are mainly nocturnal animals. In some instances, pampas cats have also been seen as pets. Most of the information about the breeding and hunting methods of these cats is unknown. They are differentiated from the other species of cats of the Andes region by the two brown stripes on their cheeks and dark bands on the tail. To know more about the animal, continue to read these wonderful facts about the pampas cat.  

For similar content check out the leopard cat and the American shorthair.

Pampas Cat Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Pampas Cat?

A Leopardus colocolo, or commonly known as a pampas cat, is a type of wild cat.

What class of animal does a Pampas Cat belong to?

Pampas cats are small mammals that belong to the class Mammalia, the common class of all felines.  

How many Pampas Cats are there in the world?

Their population density is very discrete reaching high densities only in some parts. The high Andes ecoregion of Argentina and the Puna grasslands have stable habitat patches but their population is decreasing in Bolivia and Peru. However, the population has notably decreased in central Argentina along with Brazil. The total pampas cat population along with their subpopulation has not been calculated as of yet but looking at its present situation, they can be classified as species under threat of extinction. Many conservation strategies have been planned for them and currently, they are mostly found in a protected national park called the Emas National Park and the Mirador State Park.

Where does a Pampas Cat live?

The pampas cats are a native species of South America. They cover a wide range that extends over the southwestern neotropical range of the continent. The cats are spread almost throughout the area between Argentina and Uruguay. From there they enter Bolivia through the Gran Chaco and Cerrado. The easternmost traces of the pampas cat have been located in the Minas Gerais rainforest in Brazil. Their extension of the northern population starts from Mato Grosso of the southwestern part of Brazil through Paraguay and runs further north into the high Andes mountain range through Ecuador, central Chile, and some parts of Colombia. Their distribution is mainly restricted to the eastern part of the Andes mountain range. However, at present, the pampas cats seem to have become rare in some parts of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, as well as in Chile.  

What is a Pampas Cat's habitat?

The pampas cats are named after the area of their habitation called the pampas. Despite the name, this cat species show a large variation in habitat selection ranging from moist forests to open lands. Apart from pampas, they also inhabit grasslands, steppes, shrub areas, dry forests of Argentina and Chile. The large range of habitats where this species can be found is in woodlands, savannahs, the cloud forests of Chile, floodplains, cold semi-arid areas, swampy wetlands, rocky cliffs, and mangroves. They mainly occur at elevations between 0-16,400 ft (0- 5,000 m). Some species were found even in the extreme climatic region of the Atacama desert, however, they are absent in lowland rainforests or in altered habitats like the fringes of agricultural open lands or forest plantations.

Who do Pampas cats live with?

Much information about a pampas cat's behavior is missing. They are believed to be solitary animals like all cats. Mating is polygamous in nature, and as a result, no pairing is observed in these cats.

How long does a Pampas Cat live?

In the wild, pampas cats can live for up to nine years, while in captivity their lifespan ranges between 13-15 years. Some cats have even lived for more than 16 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Most of the reproduction method in the pampas cats is unknown due to a lack of information. The breeding season in pampas cats lasts from April to July. This seasonal trend of breeding is mainly observed in captive cats. The females go through multiple estruses that last for five days. Reproduction results in conception only during their estrus cycles. A female cat rubs its cheeks to get the attention of the male when they are ready to mate. They also make loud purring sounds. Copulation occurs between the individuals up to 10 times a day. Cats are generally polygamous and mate with different individuals throughout their life. After going through a gestation period of 80-85 days, pampas cats give birth to between one and three kittens.  The captive colocolo reaches sexual maturity at 21 months. However, most of their reproductive details are a combination of all cats of their genus so proper conclusions cannot be drawn.

What is their conservation status?

Pampas cats have become extremely rare throughout their area of distribution. They have been listed as a Near Threatened species on the IUCN Red List. The most common threat that this animal is facing is habitat destruction. Deforestation and human settlements have snatched away their habitable lands. Measures have been taken to increase their population with hunting bans in Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.

Pampas Cat Fun Facts

What do Pampas Cats look like?

Pampas cat influences the population size of other animals.
*Please note, this is not an image of a pampas cat, but of a normal striped cat.

Pampas cats look more like heavier versions of domestic cats. Their thick fur makes them look larger than they actually are. They have a broad face with a small muzzle and pointed ears. Their appearance is more similar to European wild cats than other South American cats. Both the size of the cat and the thickness and length of their fur varies according to their native regions. In cold regions, their fur has very thick growth while the species of warmer areas have thin straw-like body hair. The color of their fur also depends on their region of habitation and varies accordingly. Some common color variations of pampas cat fur are yellowish-white, dark rust, grayish-yellow, silver-gray, brown, gray-brown, and silver-gray. They have whitish or yellowish bellies covered with black or brown bands. Some species might not have any markings on their coat with only black or brown bands present on their tail and legs. The back hairs are the longest and forms a dorsal mane that stands on end when they feel afraid. The pampas cat has large amber eyes that look adorable. They have short and stout legs and the tail is bushy with thick fur.

How cute are they?

These cats have very cute features and beautiful faces and because of that humans want to pet them. Although the pampas cats are wild cats they have more similar features to house cats and also look very cute.

How do they communicate?

The communication in these cats occurs through scent, sight, and changes in body language. The oral communication of meowing and purring like all other cats also takes place.

How big is a Pampas Cat?

The size of pampas cats varies according to different regions. The average body length of the cat ranges between 18-30 in (46-75 cm) with a tail length of 9.1-11.4 in (23-27 cm).

How fast can a Pampas Cat run?

The speed of pampas cats has not been determined. They show speed according to their own will, increasing and decreasing their speed according to their needs.

How much does a Pampas Cat weigh?

An adult pampas cat (Leopardus colocolo) weighs around  6.6-15.4 lb (3-7 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male cat is called a tomcat and the female is called a queen. Similarly the male and female species of pampas cats are called tomcats and queens respectively.

What would you call a baby Pampas Cat?

The baby of a pampas cat is called a kitten.

What do they eat?

The pampas cat (Leopardus colocolo) is a carnivore that preys on small mammals and birds in the wild. Their diet essentially includes guinea pigs, rodents, ground-dwelling birds, chicks, and penguin's eggs.  

Are they slobbery?

All types of cats, including pampas cats, do not have the tendency to drool much and therefore do not create much slobber.

Would they make a good pet?

Although instances of pampas cats as pets have been recorded, it is a wild cat that cannot live as a domestic animal. The cats have a tendency of being stressed in captivity and sometimes might even die. They prefer to stay in the wild, ranging from open grasslands to the Andes mountain range.  

Did you know...

Their fur was once in great demand and they were hunted for this reason.

How was the Pampas Cat bred?

Pampas cats are a native South American species and are not bred cats. They breed with species of their own kind as well as with other species to produce offspring. The cat breeds once a year between the months of April to July. The species is iteroparous in nature which means that they breed more than once in their life. The characteristic trait of the family of pampas cats is that they have inconsistent ovulation periods and a high level of estrogen. So the captive cats should be bred accordingly.  

What vegetation does the Pampas Cat need?

Pampas cats inhabit a wide range of habitats in South America. They cover a wide extent ranging from the arid regions of the Atacama desert to the cold and chilly high Andes regions. Many countries act as a home to these cats. However, the only kind of environments where they are not found are rainforests and altered habitats, such as open plantations and vegetation fields where human alterations have been made. Vegetative matters are also absent from their diet as they are primarily carnivorous in nature. As a result, types of vegetation do not play much of a larger role in the life of a pampas cat. Despite that, a subpopulation is found in Ecuador and northwestern Peru that primarily inhabits forests containing dense vegetation and agricultural fields. This subpopulation mainly prefers to live in areas of sugarcane plantations.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the snow leopard and the serval.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Pampas cat coloring pages.

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