{ Prionailurus rubiginosus/Sri-Lankan Rusty Spotted Cat }


Adoptions are an ideal way of helping save some of the rarest cats in the world, whether it be the smallest wild cat, the Sri Lankan rusty spotted cat, the rarest of all big cats, the Amur leopard or the largest of big cats, the magnificent Amur tiger.

Adopting helps with the cats husbandry, including food and veterinary care when required.

As an adopter you are able to visit on one of the Supporters Afternoons run throughout the year, (one visit per 12 month adoption period); where you will be able to tour our site at your leisure, enjoy talks from the keepers followed by light refreshments. There is also the opportunity of bringing up to 4 guests for a suggested donation of £25 each.



Nuwara was born in France and was the only surviving kitten in the litter. The smallest cat on site, what she lacks in size she more than makes up for in attitude!

She is the only cat on-site that is fed seven days a week, and has heating on 24/7 due to her high metabolism and small size.

The Sri-Lankan rusty spotted cat is one of only two sub-species of rusty spotted (with the other being the Indian). Together they make up the smallest members of the cat family, although this is often the topic of debate. A species of a similar size, the Black footed cat, can also be named as the smallest species of cat. There are very few records of wild Sri-Lankan rusties but their population seems to be split between the dry zone and the wet zone.

Being very small, they have learnt to survive by avoiding all larger predators so are typically nocturnal, as well as arboreal. They spend their days sleeping in dense cover or in shelter, using the night-time for hunting and feeding. Most of their hunting is carried out on ground level where they hunt using their rapid, darting movements. Trees are then used to escape predation themselves or to provide some cover when consuming their kills. Diet can include a huge variety of other species but mainly consists of small rodents such as the Ceylon spiny mouse. Locals have noted that after heavy rainfall, rusty spotted cats will emerge from the trees to take advantage of the large volume of frogs that surface.

Deforestation in the area is expected to have a large impact on the rusty spotted population, although due to its small size and secrecy, there is little known about their actual number in the wild. They have been noted to survive well in cultivated landscape but with this comes closer proximity to human populations.

IUCN Red List Category Vulnerable (VU)