Animal Facts
    Common Name:
    Scientific Name:
    Leopardus pardalis
    • Ocelots are solitary, secretive, and territorial cats.
    • Spend most of their time on the ground, but are good climbers and jumpers
    • They tend to pluck the feathers of birds they catch to eat.
    1.5 ft
    30 lb
    3.75 ft
    Life Span:
    10 yrs
    Gestation Period:
    80 days
    Number of Young:
    • Desert
    • Forest
    • Shrubland
    Fun Facts:
    • Uniquely patterned with both spots and stripes, with a single white spot on the back of the ears.
    • Territories of males may exceed 35 square miles.
    • Nocturnal, their primary food items are mice and rats.
    • Common in Central and South America, they are exceptionally rare in the United States.
    • Habitat Loss
    • Poaching / Over Consumption
    Endangered Status
    Endangered Status
    • Extinct in Wild (EW)
    • Critically Endangered (CR)
    • Endangered (EN)
    • Vulnerable (VU)
    • Near Threatened (NT)
    • Least Concern (LC)
    • Not Evaluated (NE)

    Ocelots are solitary and maintain their own territories in the wild, only tolerating other ocelots when they are ready to mate. We have a breeding pair so keep them separated until we see signs the female is receptive to breeding. At that time we allow them to spend about 4 days together. In this four-day period they can breed many times. One of the training projects with ocelots is to train the female to allow ultrasound to detect pregnancy. The female voluntarily stands on a platform with a hatch in the bottom where a vet can safely reach her belly with an ultrasound wand. At the same time, the keeper rewards the ocelot with food for cooperating.  

    The ocelot diet is greatly varied. They receive mice, rats, guinea pigs, ground Toronto zoo diet, salmon, herring, capelin, chicken, rib bones, and even stew meat for a treat!

    Saving Species Plan Logo

    This species is cooperatively managed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan program program. This program is responsible for developing a Breeding and Transfer Plan for each species in the program.