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Chinese Desert Cat

Felis bieti

The Chinese desert cat is a fairly large felid, about twice the size of a domestic house cat. This cat has a coat of a uniform pale yellow-gray, ticked with longer dark brown or black guard hairs. The fur on the desert cat’s belly is white, with yellowish brown underfur showing through. Small tufts of dark hair grow from the cat’s ear tips.

This species has a limited geographic range in China. Little is known about the cat’s ecology and behavior, but existing records suggest that the cat inhabits montane forest, alpine meadows, and high semi-desert areas. It has been observed at elevations ranging from 2800 meters to 4100 meters.

Active primarily at night, the Chinese desert cat preys largely on rodents, but will also consume pikas and birds. The cat’s status in the wild is not totally understood. However, the species is threatened by hunting by humans for its pelt.

The Chinese desert cat is classified as Vulnerable (VU) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is protected under appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).


Vital Stats:
• Lifespan- Unknown

• Weight- 6.5-9.0 kg

• Body Measurements- Length (Head and Body): 70-85 cm; Height: 25 cm; Tail: 29-35 cm

• Status (IUCN)- Vulnerable (VU)