(Last Updated On: December 22, 2023)

The bay cat, the scientific name Catopuma badia, also known as Bornean Cat, Bornean Red Cat, Bornean Bay Cat, or Bornean Marbled Cat is a completely wild cat that is mostly available on the island of Borneo. The cat breed is quite exceptional, uncommon, and exclusive compared to other wild cats.


The Bay cats had formally been named in 1874 based mostly on their cranium and torn skin. The cat was carried to England by Alfred Russel Wallace, the well-known naturalist.

When a Borneo bay cat was captured in 1992, naturalists had their first opportunity and interest to review it thoroughly.

Borneo bay cat description

There are several rare cat breeds and the Borneo bay cat is one of them with less study and research. It is quite arduous to get in touch with them because of their elusiveness. It is also because the cat lives so dense in the mountain that it is difficult to interact with them.

This big-sized wild cat has a hang, rust-red colored fur, with distinctive white face stripes and whites down its tail.

Considering its decreasing number and prevailing dangers, it’s listed as endangered by conservationists.

Based on both appearance and molecular evidence, Catopuma badia has a close similarity with the Asian Golden Cat.

The dentition of Catopuma badia is distinct, the first upper pre-molar tooth is smaller than normal. Moreover, the cat has a short, rounded head, and only one root by nature.

The has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2002. It is estimated that note more than 2,500 mature cats exist currently, and the number of inhabitants has been declining day by day.

The Borneo bay cat is considered very uncommon, and lives in low density, even in its pristine habitat.

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Scientific classification of the Borneo Bay Cat:

Kingdom: Animalia (animals) Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates) Class: Mammalia (mammals) Order: Carnivora (carnivores) Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like) Family: Felidae (cats) Subfamily: Felinae (small cats) Genus: Catopuma Species: Catopuma badia (Borneo Bay Cat) Subspecies: none

Borneo bay cat Traits

Compared to the Asian golden cat, the Borneo bay cat is far smaller in its size and appearance.

Its fur looks like the vibrant chestnut color, moderately paler below the body, whereas the limbs and the tail are moderately paler and redder, compared to the other part of the body.

The cat has a tall, straight tail in the back, with a white central streak.

The ears are rounded, coated with a brief blackish-brown fur on its outer border. A pale brown inside with a slender brown margin is also visible in the adult.

The size from head-to-tail is 49.5–67 cm (19.5–26.4 in) with 30.0- to 40.3 cm long tails.

The weight of the adult cat is 3-4 kg (6.6–8.8 lb).

The short, rounded head is greyish-brown with two darkish stripes originating from the corner of every eye, and the back of the head has a unique darkish ‘M’-shaped marking.

The below of the chin is white with two faint brown stripes on the cat’s cheeks. Its body and tail resemble New World jaguarundi.

Distribution and habitat

The Borneo bay cat is mostly available on the island of Borneo. Due to the dense forests and areas of rocky limestone, the bay cats are endemic there. The cats are frequently observed near the rivers and in highland areas.

There are several National Parks and forests that are good places for Borneo bay cats.

borneo bay cat

Ecology and habits

The bay cat is secretive and nocturnal, that is it loves to roam around in the night, secretly.

You won’t expect a Borneo bay cat will come out in the public and will roam around like a daredevil.

You won’t see any of the bay cats frequently. Maybe the decreasing number of the breed is another cause for the scarcity.

The bay cat is a wild cat we have said. Therefore you cant expect it in your home as a pet. In captivity, they even don’t live long.


The Borneo bay cat feeds on small mammals, rodents, reptiles, carrion, and even monkeys, chickens, bird, eggs, and dead animals.

The bay cat is small in size but very ferocious, and can attack animals much bigger than its body size. They hunt at night and moves alone for food.


Explored key reproductive features of the bay cat are gonochoric, or gonochoristic, or dioecious (sexes separate) sexual, whereas the parental investment is altricial.

borneo bay cat bornean bay cat pardofelis badia bornean cat the bornean bay cat

Borneo bay cat Threats

Though Borneo supposedly has 25 wildlife reserves, solely three are literally in existence, with the others solely proposed. All of those reserves have been encroached upon by human settlement and logging.

Bay cats rely on the forest and are threatened more and more by habitat destruction in Borneo, caused by deforestation.

Secret trapping and searching are some other key threats, that are deteriorated by random smuggling, for the meat and skin.

lack of food is another reason for the loss of the cat.

Inhabitants quantity

The IUCN Red List states that the number of the cat is under 2,500.

Since the number is decreasing day by day, IUCN has categorized the cat as Endangered (EN)

Borneo bay cat Conservation

It’s totally protected by national laws throughout most of its range. Trades are prohibited in Kalimantan, Sabah, Sarawak, in many places and countries.

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