Bay Cat: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Read these interesting bay cat facts to learn more about these wild cats that are very agile climbers.

The bay cat, also known as the Bornean bay cat (Catopuma badia), is a wild-cat species found on the Island of Borneo, Indonesia. These cats are closely related to the Asiatic golden cat and the marbled cat. They were first discovered in the 19th century, but a live one was caught in the year 1992.

These cats are Endangered, and due to this reason, they are kept in protected areas so that they are safe from poachers who hunt them for their fur or sell them in illegal trade markets. Habitat loss due to palm oil plantations is also a big threat to the bay cat.

Their fur is of a chestnut color, and they have elongated tails. These cats with rounded ears are said to be nocturnal and very secretive.

Here, we have many amazing and interesting facts about bay cats that you will enjoy. Let's take a look at these facts and information, and if you enjoy these then, do read our liger facts and Bengal tiger facts.

Bay Cat

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Carrion, monkeys, small rodents, and birds

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

7-9 lb (3-4 kg)

How long are they?

19.5–26.4 in (49.5–67 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Chestnut red or gray

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Humans, Habitat Destruction, Illegal Trading, Hunting

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Tropical Forests, Rocky Limestones


Southeast Asia, Borneo, Indonesia





Scientific Name

Catopuma badia





Bay Cat Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bay cat?

The Borneo bay cat (Catopuma Badia) is a wild cat species.

What class of animal does a bay cat belong to?

The Borneo bay cat belongs to the class Mammalia.

How many bay cats are there in the world?

There are fewer than 2,500 bay cats left in the world and they are exclusive to the Borneo islands.

Where does a bay cat live?

Bay cats are found in Southeast Asia, mainly on the island of Borneo. They prefer dense tropical forests and rocky limestone areas, filled with small rodents and monkeys.

What is a bay cat's habitat?

Bay cats are found in tropical forests and rocky limestone areas.

Who do bay cats live with?

There is not much information on bay cats as there have not been many sightings. However, it is known that they sometimes live in pairs when in captivity.

How long does a bay cat live?

The Borneo bay cat has a long lifespan. They live for 10-17 years in the wild, but not for long in captivity. Scientists kept two in captivity to study them, one of them died early, and then they let the other one go.

How do they reproduce?

Bay cats are rare animals. There are no reports that tell how these cats reproduce. The only thing known about their reproduction is that they give birth to one to three kittens.

What is their conservation status?

The Borneo bay cat is Endangered according to the IUCN Red List. There are fewer than 2,500 of them alive and they are very rare animals.

Bay Cat Fun facts

What do bay cats look like?

The Borneo bay cat is a rare cat.

A Borneo bay cat's body is covered with bright red chestnut or gray-colored fur and a white-colored stripe that starts from under their belly and gets wider as it goes towards the end of their tail. It has rounded ears that are blackish-brown in color.

It has a grayish-brown round head with dark stripes at the corners of both eyes. Their tail is also extremely long. The most distinctive feature about them is the dark 'M' shaped mark on the back of their head. One of the closest relatives of the bay cat is the marbled cat.

How cute are they?

These wild cats might look small, cute, and majestic, but they are extremely dangerous and brutal. They have very little interaction with humans and might attack you if it comes close to you or even sees you.

How do they communicate?

The communication method of the Borneo bay cat is still unknown as it is one of the rarest wild cats on the planet, and there is very little information about them.

How big is a bay cat?

A Borneo bay cat is about 19.5–26.4 in (49.5–67 cm) long. Its tail is almost as big as its body, measuring 11.8-15.6 in (30-40.3 cm) long. It is similar to the Asiatic golden cat in appearance but has a smaller body and fewer markings on its face.

How fast can a bay cat run?

It is unknown how fast this wild cat can run as scientists have not been able to study them due to their rare occurrence in the wild.

How much does a bay cat weigh?

A Borneo bay cat (Catopuma badia) weighs only about 7-9 lb (3-4 kg). It is a small wild cat and is very agile and good at climbing.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male Borneo bay cat is called a tomcat, and the female is called a queen. How the male attracts the female is still unknown.

What would you call a baby bay cat?

A baby Borneo bay cat is referred to as a kitten. A baby bay cat is extremely rare and has never been witnessed in the wild.

What do they eat?

A Borneo bay cat's diet consists of small rodents like rats or mice, carrion, monkeys, and birds. They are really good at climbing trees which helps them in catching and eating birds or monkeys. Their nutrition consists mainly of proteins obtained from the meat they eat.

Would they make a good pet?

The Borneo bay cat is an Endangered feline species restricted to the Island of Borneo, Indonesia. It is illegal to catch them or trade them in pet markets. They are extremely dangerous and might attack humans, so it is not advisable to keep them as a pet even if you can get one somehow.

Did you know...

The bay cat is closely related to the Asiatic golden cat and the marbled cat. The dark 'M'-shaped mark on the back of its head is the distinctive feature of the bay cat. They are considered arboreal animals as they are seen in trees and are really good climbers.

Another interesting thing about bay cats is that the hair on its nape, cheeks, front of its throat, and sides of its crown grows in a forward direction instead of backward like other mammals who have fur. The bay cat is one of the rarest wild-cats ever recorded, and even after 5,034 nights of recording, only one photo of a bay cat was captured!

One of the main threats faced by the bay cat is deforestation. The deforestation rate of forests of Borneo is one of the highest in the world, due to the global demand for palm oil.

Habits and Lifestyle of a bay cat

The Borneo bay cat lives in places tropical forests or rocky limestones, which provides them plenty of food. They feed on monkeys, birds, and small rodents, which are easily available in these habitats. They are nocturnal animals, and this is one of the reasons there have not been many sightings of them.

About their lifestyle, how these cats live still unknown as they do not live for long in captivity. Even if scientists have observed them, their research has not been documented yet, so it is still unknown.

Characteristics And Health Issues

Bay cats have a red chestnut-colored body and an extremely long tail, about 11.8-15.6 in (30-40.3 cm) long. Another unique characteristic about these cats is the dark 'M'-shaped mark on the back of their head. In-depth research about them has not been performed, so we don't know if they have any health issues.

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 red fox facts, or buffalo facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Bay Cat coloring pages.



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