Chinese Mountain Cat or Chinese Desert Cat - Felis bieti


Weight: 12 pounds 
Head/Body: 30 inches 
Tail: 12 inches 
Subspecies: 3

The Chinese Mountain Cat was known as the Chinese Desert Cat until 1992, when it had its name changed in Bejing by Chinese specialists, who argued that cats seen in the desert were misidentified Asian wildcats, and not Felis bieti. They have been reported living in the Daban and Datong mountains near Xining, at elevations ranging from 2800 m to 4100 m. The Chinese Mountain Cat has been surviving in one of the most difficult environments in the world.

Also called the 'Chinese Grey cat', the Chinese Mountain Cat is of stocky physique, a little bit larger than a domestic cat, with short legs. Usually, the color is light gray (fawn) during wintertime, and turns to a darker hue during the summer. A Chinese Mountain Cat's ears are light red-brown with tips of short hair tufts. The pelts of Chinese Mountain Cats continue to show up in the black market, even though they are fully protected by the Chinese government

A Chinese Mountain Cat is basically crepuscular (active during twilight) and nocturnal, so they hunt in the dawn hours and late night. Their diet consists of rabbits, rats and birds. The majority of the rodents they catch are pikas, white-tailed pine voles and mole rats. Chinese mountain cats are not social animals, and the males and females live separately from each other.

The reproduction period of these cats runs from January to March, and the female Chinese Mountain Cat cares for the newborns in burrows, with typically just one entrance.

The Chinese "desert" cat is distributed throughout the rocky steppes and brush-covered or forested mountains in central Asia, southern Mongolia, the western Chinese provinces of Gansu and Sichuan, and near the border of Tibet. They are not generally found in deserts habitats, as one of its common names implies. They have lost a great deal of their habitat, and their species is now among the most endangered on Earth. There is little interest in conservation of this cat because it's so poorly understood.

The Chinese desert cat or Chinese mountain cat, is listed as Vulnerable (VU), and considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.