Unlike many other species of wild cat, the jungle cat is not nocturnal, instead doing much of its hunting during the early morning and late afternoon (5). The jungle cat stalks and ambushes its prey on the ground, primarily eating small rodents such as rats, mice and gerbils. The jungle cat may sometimes jump to catch birds, such as pheasants, ducks and sparrows (5). Other prey species are hunted more opportunistically, including fish, snakes, hares, lizards and amphibians (7). This species is also known to occasionally scavenge the scraps of lion kills (1).
Scent marking, such as urine spraying and rubbing scent against objects, is used by the male jungle cat to determine its territory. The male’s home range typically overlaps the range of several females, although the jungle cat is generally a solitary animal, only socialising with other individuals during the breeding season (5).
The female jungle cat reaches sexual maturity at around 11 months old. Most young are born between December and June, after a gestation period of 63 to 66 days, although the timing of breeding varies depending on location. Usually, a litter of two or three kittens is produced, but as many as six kittens can be born in the same litter (4). The female jungle cat may have up to two litters a year (7). The female gives birth to the kittens in a den, which is usually located in well concealed, densely vegetated areas, such as in paddy fields, hollow trees, reed beds and among tree roots (5).
The young are born blind, not opening their eyes until they reach 10 to 13 days old (5). The kittens suckle milk from the female for a further 90 days, and become completely weaned at around 102 days old. The young jungle cats become fully independent at eight to nine months old (7). The average life span for the jungle cat in the wild is 14 years old, and around 9 years old in captivity (8).