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.
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.