The jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) is also known by the name eyra cat and by many other names in its native countries. Jaguarundis live from southern Texas to Mexico and Central America and South America.
They have short legs, a long body and tail, and short, rounded ears. A jaguarundi can be in either one of two color phases, but both are the same species. Their color can be gray tending toward black or brown, or they can be a fox-like red or chestnut. Either way, they are mostly a solid color with faint markings on their faces. Both red and gray kittens are often born in the same litter. Jaguarundis adapt well to many environments, but they especially like lowlands with dense ground vegetation for hiding.
Jaguarundis are important predators eating a wide variety of small animals, ground birds, frogs, and fish. Because they sometimes raid domestic poultry, farmers consider them to be pests. Their biggest threat in the wild is the loss of habitat, and there are not many of them in zoos.
Jaguarundis are one of the smaller wild cats weighing up to 20 pounds (9 kg). Sometimes larger cats kill them, so by hunting in the daytime, they avoid the large cats that hunt at night. They have at least 13 distinct calls including purrs, chatters, whistles, and chirps. They tend to be shy and reclusive, usually living alone. Their long, slender bodies with short legs and short, rounded ears give jaguarundis the appearance of a large weasel, but they are not related.
Jaguarundis are another of the wild cats that play a role in the delicate balance of life God has created.
— © Roland Earnst
Image Credit: © bigstockphoto.com/wrangel