Geoffroy’s Cat

Leopardus geoffroyi

©Felipe Peters

Standard English Name

Geoffroy’s cat

Scientific Name

Leopardus geoffroyi

Brazilian common name/s

Gato-do-mato, gato-do-mato-grande

Distribution Map - IUCN

Click to enlarge

Physical Description

Is a small agile cat that weighs between 2 and 6 kg and has a total length between 70 and 90 cm. The coat has a coloration that varies from light gray to ochre, with small black spots. The back and legs have small black stripes and the tail is ringed. Black individuals are not uncommon.

Ecology and Habitat

This species occurs from southern Bolivia to the end of South America, occupying areas with vegetation cover ranging from shrubs to trees. In Brazil it is found only in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
It is a poorly studied animal and little is known about their social characteristics. It is solitary and is mainly nocturnal, with home ranges of 1.5 to 13 km2.
It feeds on small mammals, birds and even fish.
The gestation lasts for 70 to 76 days with two to three cubs.

Threats and Conservation

Hunting for its fur and the destruction of forests are the main threats to this species. In addition, little is known about the biology of this species, which limits the ability to generate effective conservation strategies. IBAMA has classified Geoffroy’s Cat as threatened with extinction.

General information

Average values with minimum and maximum in parentheses

Body / tail length (cm):

(43-69)a / (24-36)a



Weight (kg) / Height (cm):

Male 4.7 kg (3,4-7,8); female 3,3 kg (2,4-4,3)b / -

Living area (km2):

Male 4,7 (0,4 – 6,6); female 2,1 (0,7 – 5,7)b

Number of puppies / Gestation (days):

2 (1-3) / (62-76)

Longevity (years):

14 (máx)

Social structure:


Activity pattern:


a Oliveira & Cassaro, 2005; b Tirelli et al., 2018

Online links

IUCN redlist ( presents a synthesis of current knowledge about distribution and conservation status.

IUCN Cat Specialist Group species accounts:


Almeida L. B., Queirolo D., Oliveira T. G. & Beisiegel B. M. (2018). Leopardus geoffroyi. In: Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade. (Org.). Livro Vermelho da Fauna Brasileira Ameaçada de Extinção: Volume II – Mamíferos. Brasília: ICMBio. p. 337-340.

Cuellar E., Maffei L., Arispe R. & Noss A. (2006). Geoffroy’s cats at the northern limit of their range: activity patterns and density estimates from camera trapping in Bolivian dry forests. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment 41, 169-177.

Cuyckens, G. A. E., Pereira, J. A., Trigo, T. C., Da Silva, M., Gonçalves, L., Huaranca, J. C., Bou, N. P., Cartes, J. L. & Eizirik, E. (2016). Refined assessment of the geographic distribution of Geoffroy’s cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) (Mammalia: felidae) in the Neotropics. J. Zool. 298, 285–292.

Foreman, G. E. (1988). Behavioral and genetic analysis of Geoffroy’s cat (Felis geoffroyi) in captivity. PhD. Dissertation, Ohio State University, Columbus.

Johnson, W. E., & Franklin, W. L. (1991). Feeding and spatial ecology of Felis geoffroyi in southern Patagonia. Journal of Mammalogy, 72, 815-820.

Manfredi, C., Soler, L., Lucherini, M. & Casanave, E. B. (2006). Home range and habitat use by Geoffroys cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi) in a wet grassland in Argentina. Journal of Zoology, 268, 381-387.

Migliorini, R. P., Peters, F. B., Favarini, M. O., & Kasper, C. B. (2018). Trophic ecology of sympatric small cats in the Brazilian Pampa. PloS one, 13(7).

Oliveira, T. G., & Cassaro, K. (2005). Guia de campo dos felinos do Brasil. Instituto Pró-Carnívoros.

Pereira, J., Lucherini, M., Trigo, T., (2015). Leopardus geoffroyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015:e.T15310A50657011.

Peters, F. B., Mazim, F. D., Favarini, M. O., Soares, J. B., Oliveira, T. G., Castanõ-Uribe, C., … & Payán, E. (2016). Caça preventiva ou retaliativa de felinos por humanos no extremo sul do Brasil. II. Conflictos entre felinos y Humanos em América Latina. Castaño-Uribe, Serie Editorial Fauna Silvestre Neotropical. Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt (IAvH), Bogotá, DC, Colombia, 311-325.

Sousa, K. S., & Bager, A. (2008). Feeding habits of Geoffroys cat (Leopardus geoffroyi) in southern Brazil. Mammalian Biology, 73, 303-308.

Tirelli, F.P., Trigo, T.C., Trinca, C.S., Albano, A.P.N., Mazim, F.D., Queirolo, D., … & Eizirik, E. (2018). Spatial organization and social dynamics of Geoffroy’s cat in the Brazilian pampas. J. Mammal. 99 (4), 859–873

Tirelli, F. P., Mazim, F. D., Crawshaw, P. G., Albano, A. P., Espinosa, C., Queirolo, D.,…  & Eizirik, E. (2019). Density and spatio-temporal behaviour of Geoffroy’s cats in a human-dominated landscape of southern Brazil. Mammalian Biology99(1), 128-135.

Trigo, T.C., Tirelli, F.P., Machado, L.F., Peters, F.B., Indrusiak, C.B., Mazim, F.D., …  & Freitas T. R. O.(2013). Geographic distribution and food habits of Leopardus tigrinus and L. geoffroyi (Carnivora, Felidae) at their geographic contact zone in southern Brazil. Stud. Neotrop. Fauna Environ. 48 (1), 56–67.

Learn more about Brazilian carnivore species