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March 22, 2018

What’s a Ring-Tailed Cat Anyways?

If you’ve seen the news lately or heard from a neighbor, our Inspirada community has been in the spotlight for having a furry visitor. Namely, a ring-tailed cat. If you’re anything like us, you probably didn’t know a thing about ring-tailed cats until now.

With this in mind, we decided to compile some fun facts about the cute little desert-dweller. And, we need your help naming him! What do you think our furry friend’s name should be?

Vote on his name here!

 

Fun Facts About Ring-Tail Cats:

  • They are omnivorous: they eat insects, rodents, prickly pear, berries, birds, rabbits, lizards, snakes, and more — they’ll basically eat anything that’s the right size!
  • Also known as Miner’s Cat, Bassarisk, and Civet Cat.
    Wait, Miner’s Cat?
    Miners and settlers would sometimes keep them as pets to keep their cabins free of vermin.
  • These funky critters are characterized by their black and white striped (or ringed) tails.
  • Ring-tailed cats weigh 1-2 pounds and — including their tail — are only around 24 inches in length.
  • They live in desert, rocky habitats, like the Southwestern US and Northern Mexico near a water source.
  • Despite their name, they’re not related to cats at all — they are a mammal of the raccoon family.
  • Like raccoons, they are solitary creatures and nocturnal.
  • Spotting a ring-tailed cat isn’t as common as a raccoon because they’re often timid toward humans.
  • They live for up to around 9 years.
  • Their predators are horned owls, coyotes, and bobcats.
  • They have a pointed face and features similar to a fox, with a body similar to a house cat, but smaller.
  • They have great eyesight and hearing.
  • Ring-tailed cats like to nest in hollows of trees, abandoned wooden structures, in rock crevices, and in mines.
  • Thanks to their hind feet that can rotate 180 degrees, they are excellent climbers.

 

*Information from Wikipedia and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

 

Have you ever seen a ring-tailed cat? We’re hoping we catch a glimpse of this furry little critter soon at the Inspirada community! If you see a ring-tailed cat, it is important to remember that, despite how cute they are, they are wild animals. Do not try to pet, touch, feed, or catch our neighborhood friend.

 

Don’t forget to submit a name for this cute little guy! You can cast your vote here. Happy tails trails!

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