The ocelot is the second largest spotted cat in the Americas (jaguar is the largest). Because of that beautiful coat, this cat is sometimes called a “painted leopard.” Although the ocelot is stunning to see, it does have a rather strong body odor.

The ocelot is known as a finicky eater since it will pluck feathers or fur from prey it is about to eat. Its pointed and sharp teeth are well adapted for tearing meat, but not for chewing, so the ocelot tears its food into smaller pieces to swallow whole.


Felis paradalis

Habitat: Texas, Central and South American humid tropical forests to fairly dry scrub country.

Diet in the wild: Rabbits, rodents, iguanas, fish, frogs, monkeys and birds

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Canine diet, bone, and calf

Size: 28-35 inches long; weigh 24-35 pounds

Family: Females have litters of 1-4 darkly colored kittens

Status: Least Concern (Endangered in Texas)

Did you know? Ocelots, unlike some other cats, do not avoid water and can swim quite well.

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