Margay the wild is considered to be the animal that is best adapted to life in high canopies, and since it can rotate the joints of its hind legs by 180 degrees, it descends headlong through the trees. She is fast and agile like a squirrel! Also, it is very interesting that this pussy-cat can hang on a branch holding on to it with only one hind leg. Margay are called the most interesting and mysterious “spotted” cats in Central and South America.
These adorable cats inhabit wooded areas, and can often be seen wandering cocoa and coffee plantations, as well as in the forests surrounding the rivers. They inhabit large parts of South and Central America, primarily Mexico, Amazon, Argentina, Uruguay, Belize, Honduras, Panama… These cats once lived in Texas, but in this American state, unfortunately, they have been declared an extinct species.
Margay looks very much like an ocelot, but is much smaller and belongs to the wild cats of medium size. The patterns (rosettes) on the fur of these two tits-cats are very similar, as well as the pink noses. In some parts of South America, it is also called the “little ocelot”. The fur of this cat is thick but soft, like plush, and it has an extremely long tail, which makes up as much as 70 percent of the length of its body. Thanks to such a long tail, these wild cats balance and keep their balance perfectly. They have extremely large eyes and can boast of excellent eyesight, especially at night and in low light (dusk and dawn). These cats also have conspicuously large paws in relation to the size of their body.
Margay’s are solitary, nocturnal and territorial animals. In the southern parts of Brazil, however, they were noted to be most active during the day. Although they spend most of their time high in the treetops, they hunt on the ground and carry their prey mostly to the heights to feast in peace. Their territory covers an area of one to as much as 20 kilometers. In the areas ruled by the ocelots, their older and larger relatives, there are fewer margins, who stay away from them in order to avoid conflicts and fights. It has been noted that margins can jump 2.5 meters high and four meters away. These are very intelligent and resourceful cats, real athletes. It has also been observed that they imitate the sounds of the young of their prey in order to lure them into the trap.
Like most of their wild cousins, margins are endangered because of their fur. People hunt them relentlessly and sell their lavish fur on the black market for large sums of money. Also, a great threat to this species is deforestation, which is their primary habitat. They have the status of an almost endangered species also because females give birth to a maximum of two cubs, once every two years, and the mortality rate of cubs is as high as 50 percent. In just ten years, from 1970 to 1980, as many as 125,000 margays were killed in Central America for their fur.
Females of the margay usually give birth to only one cub, very rarely two. When they are born, marjoram cubs weigh only 78 to 170 grams and open their eyes only after two weeks. They stop breastfeeding at two months, and reach full maturity at nine to 12 months. Margay’s rarely breed in captivity.
The menu of these cats usually includes smaller rodents, squirrels, opossums, birds, but also larger animals such as prickly pigs and smaller species of monkeys such as marmoset and capuchin. It is interesting that these tits-cats like to eat fruit as well.