African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat: The Differences


The African Golden Cat (Caracal aurata) and the Asian Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii) are the two known golden cats in the world. But what are the differences between the two wild felines? There are many different factors to consider when comparing the African Golden Cat to the Asian Golden Cat. For starters, the African golden cat is a medium-sized wild cat native to West and Central Africa while the Asian Golden Cat is a medium-sized wild cat found in Southeast Asia, India and China. Both golden cats have unique features and share many comparable characteristics.

African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat Appearance

African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat Appearance

The African Golden Cat is robustly built and has muscular legs, large paws, and a relatively short tail. It has a heavy-muzzled rounded head, which is relatively small compared to its robust body. The African Golden Cat has small ears and few markings on its face. This unique feline's coat color ranges from golden/reddish brown to silvery/dark slate grey. Some African Golden Cats are spotted.

On the other hand, the Asian Golden Cat is also heavily built but has a relatively long, slender tail and a typical cat-like appearance. These cats' face features white lines running from the top of the head and across the cheeks. The typical colors of the Asian Golden Cat's coat range from golden brown to rich russet-brown. However, Asian Golden Cats are polymorphic in color, as different colors are found in different countries. Furthermore, the Asian Golden Cat appearance is similar to the Bay cat, a small wild cat endemic to the island of Borneo.

African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat Size

African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat Size

Both golden cats are similar in size. Full-grown African Golden Cats measure 24 to 40 inches in body length, 20 inches in height, and weigh between 12 and 35 pounds, with females being smaller than males. The length of their tail ranges from 6.3 to 18.1 inches.

Asian Golden Cats, on the other hand, stand 22 inches tall at the shoulder and measure up to 41 inches in head-to-body length, with a tail length ranging from 16 to 22 inches.

African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat Habitat

The Asian golden cat inhabits subtropical evergreen and tropical rainforests in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, southern China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

African golden cats inhabit tropical forests in Angola, Central African Republic, Kenya, and Senegal.

African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat Behavior and Diet

African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat Behavior and Diet

African Golden Cats are very rare and consequently, little is known about their behavior. By all accounts, they are solitary felines that are nocturnal or crepuscular, depending on the availability of local prey. Though they are great climbers, African Golden Cats prefer hunting on the ground. They feed mainly on rodents, birds, tree hyrax, small forest hogs, small antelopes, small monkeys, and duikers. Furthermore, African Golden Cats are known to have taken domestic poultry and livestock.

On the other hand, Asian Golden Cats, also called Temminck's cats and Asiatic golden cats, are described as territorial and solitary felines that are primarily nocturnal, but also crepuscular and diurnal. Like African Golden Cats, Asian Golden Cats are also able to climb. They mainly feed rodents, reptiles, hares, birds, sambar deer, and muntjacs. Asian golden cats' vocalizations include growling, purring, hissing, spitting, gurgling, and meowing. Captive Asian golden cats are known for scent-marking and rubbing their head against various objects, much like domestic cats.

African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat Threats and Predators

The African golden cat is listed as "Vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List while the Asian Golden Cat is listed as "Near Threatened." African Golden Cats are threatened by bushmeat hunting and extensive deforestation of tropical rainforests. African golden cats' natural predators are leopards.

Asian golden cats are increasingly threatened by deforestation and poaching for the illegal wildlife trade. In some Asian countries, Asian golden cats are reportedly killed in revenge for preying on poultry.

African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat in Captivity

African Golden Cat vs Asian Golden Cat in Captivity

Captive African golden cats are known to have acted aggressively and shown threatening behaviors. African golden cats known to have been kept in captivity around the world other than Africa may have long passed away. Unlike African golden cats, Asian Golden Cats are much more popular. They can be found in European zoos, Australian zoos, and Southeast Asia.

The lifespan of African golden cats in captivity is 12 years while that of African golden cats is twenty years.

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