Named for their cloud-like spots, Cirrus and Stratus are a unique genus of cats, not just a type of leopard. They have a stocky build and are larger than small cat species, and smaller than the big cats at our zoo, like lions and tigers. Their long canine teeth are the same size as a tiger's, even though a tiger is 10 times larger in body size! We have developed a successful breeding program with our Clouded Leopards and have had several clouded leopard cubs born at Zoosiana.
Few people have seen a clouded leopard in its wild rainforest habitat, in Southeast Asia. Most of what we know about these mysterious cats comes from caring for them in professional zoos. Clouded leopards are typically rainforest dwellers but are also found in drier forests in Southeast Asia. In areas where clouded leopards share their habitat with tigers and common leopards, clouded leopards seem to be more nocturnal and arboreal to avoid competition for food. That long, thick tail provides balance in the trees, where the cats seek shelter and resting spots. On islands or in other areas where there are no larger cats, clouded leopards are more active during the day and spend more time on the ground.
- The canine teeth of the clouded leopard are the longest, relative to body size, of any feline.
- Clouded leopards are good swimmers and may have populated small islands off Vietnam and Borneo in this way.
- Male clouded leopards can be more than twice the size of females. This is the largest gender size difference in the cat family.
- In Malaysia, the clouded leopard is known as the tree tiger.