Little is known of the mating system of leopard cats. Male territories often overlap with those of multiple females, with whom the male tries to mate with. The mating system of the leopard cat has not been extensively studied, which may have to do with their low relative abundance and their solitary, nocturnal tendencies.
Mating System: polygynous
Prionailurus bengalensis mates year round in southeastern Asia. In more northern latitude, it breeds in January through March and gives birth in May. Gestation lasts 65 to 72 days and can produce anywhere from 1 to 4 cubs per litter with an average of 2.5. If a litter is lost (e.g., predation), females can become pregnant again within 4 to 5 months. Cubs weigh between 75 and 120 g at birth and can open their eyes within 10 days after parturition. Cubs become sexually mature around 18 months old.
Breeding interval: Prionailurus bengalensis can breed yearly depending on environmental conditions
Breeding season: Breeding season varies with local conditions
Range number of offspring: 1 to 4.
Range gestation period: 62 to 75 days.
Range birth mass: 75 to 120 g.
Average time to independence: 8 months.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 10 (low) months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 18 months.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 8 (low) months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 18 months.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous
Average number of offspring: 2.5.
Prionailurus bengalensis females are the primary caregivers, however, the mean duration of parental care is unknown. Cubs are born semi-altricial, furred and helpless with their eyes closed. They are raised in a hollow tree, rock crevice or burrow until they are ready to leave. Prionailurus bengalensis reaches sexual maturity at 18 months. Males may help care for young but the extent of paternal care is unknown.
Parental Investment: altricial ; male parental care ; female parental care ; pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female)
- 2001. "Leopard Cat" (On-line). International Society for Endangered Cats. Accessed March 12, 2011 at http://www.wildcatconservation.org/Leopard_Cat_(Prionailurus_bengalensis).html.
- 2004. Leopard Cat. Pp. 391 in M McDade, ed. Prionailurus bengalensis, Vol. 14, 2nd Edition. Canada: Gale.
- 2009. "Leopard Cat foundation" (On-line). Accessed March 12, 2011 at http://www.leopardcat.8k.com/LC.html.
- 2011. "Professor Paul's Guide to Mammals" (On-line). Accessed March 13, 2011 at http://professorpaulsnatureencyclopedia.blogspot.com/2011/01/felidae-cats.html.
- Nowak, R. 2005. Leopard Cat. Pp. 249 in Walker's Carnivores of the World, Vol. 1, 1 Edition. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.