Meet Kuda, the Rusty Spotted Cat - The Big Cat Sanctuary

Meet Kuda, the Rusty Spotted Cat

The Big Cat Sanctuary is pleased to announce the newest addition to the family, Kuda, a Sri Lankan Rusty Spotted Cat. Kuda is 5 years old and was born on the 30th of April 2018 at Hamerton Zoo Park. He joined us on Tuesday 13th February after a smooth 3-hour journey from Hamerton.

Kuda means ‘little’ in Sinhala, the language primarily spoken by the people of Sri Lanka.  A name most suited for him, as Rusty Spotted Cats are one of the smallest cat species in the world.

The newest addition will be diversifying our wide collection of threatened cat species at the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is proud to care once again for one of the world’s biggest and smallest cat species; the Amur tiger and the Rusty Spotted Cat.

A Rusty-spotted cat is a small wild cat, with two subspecies found in India and Sri Lanka. They usually weigh anywhere between 1-2kgs but can be as little as 900g. They have a varied diet of rodents, birds, eggs, reptiles, small vertebrates, and insects. Their distinctive physical features are their small, slender bodies (which are smaller than domestic cats) and their small, round heads. They have red to brown colouring, hence the ‘rusty’ name, along with darker spots and stripes, which camouflage them perfectly into their habitat.

The latest IUCN Red List assessment classified the Rusty-spotted cat as ‘Near Threatened’, with their population numbers seen to be decreasing. The Rusty-spotted cat faces several threats in the wild: from human development resulting in a loss of habitat and a lack of prey due to human-wildlife conflict through hunting.

It has been almost a year and a half since the passing of Nuwara, the Rusty Spotted Cat who arrived at the Sanctuary in 2011 when she was 11 months old. She was an incredible ambassador of her species and was immensely popular among our supporters. We are hopeful that Kuda will also become an amazing ambassador, raising vital awareness for his species.

In the lead-up to Kuda’s arrival, our team worked hard to renovate his new home. A brand new house was built with indoor heating to keep him cosy and warm on colder nights. The outdoor enclosure also underwent refurbishments, including new walkways and platforms for Kuda to climb. This will help encourage Kuda to exercise and move around.

Briony Smith, Curator of The Big Cat Sanctuary says: ‘We have certainly felt like there has been a little rusty spotted cat sized hole at the Sanctuary since losing our lovely Nuwara, and we are so looking forward to getting to know our new arrival Kuda!.  We hear from his keepers at Hamerton that he has quite the boisterous personality and we can’t wait to see it.  He will be keeping a low profile for a while as he settles in, but we hope that Kuda will adjust to his new surroundings soon and we will be helping him get used to his new home in whatever way we can.’

The Big Cat Sanctuary will share updates on how he is doing online on social media and our website. Kuda will be soon available to adopt which is a fantastic way of supporting our Welfare, Breeding, Education and Conservation programmes. The best way to see Kuda would be by visiting the Sanctuary for an experience or a lodge stay. This way, you will be able to learn about Kuda and have the privilege to meet him yourself.


In the meantime, please join us in greeting Kuda with a warm welcome to The Big Cat Sanctuary.