The Jaguarundi, or Eyra Cat, is a small, wild cat native to Central and South America. In 2002, the IUCN classified the jaguarundi as Least Concern, although they considered it likely that no conservation units beyond the megareserves of the Amazon Basin could sustain long-term viable populations. Its presence in Uruguay is uncertain.


The jaguarundi has short legs, an elongated body, and a long tail. The ears are short and rounded. The coat is without spots, uniform in color, with, at most, a few faint markings on the face and underside. The coat can be either blackish to brownish-grey (grey phase) or foxy red to chestnut (red phase); individuals of both phases can be born in the same litter. It has a total length of 53 to 77 cm (21 to 30 in) with a 31- to 60-cm-long tail, and weighs 3.5 to 9.1 kg (7.7 to 20.1 lb).

The two color phases were once thought to represent two distinct species: the grey one called jaguarundi /ˌʒæɡwəˈrʌndi/ zhag-wə-run-dee, and the red one called eyra.


he jaguarundi is found from southern Texas and coastal Mexico in the north, through Central and South America east of the Andes, and as far south as northern Argentina. Its habitat is lowland brush areas close to a source of running water, and may include any habitat from dry thorn forest to wet grassland. While commonly found in the lowlands, they have been reported at elevations as high as 3,200 m (10,500 ft). Jaguarundis also occasionally inhabit dense tropical areas.


They will eat almost any small animal they can catch, typically catching a mixture of rodents, small reptiles, and ground-feeding birds. They have also been observed to kill larger prey, such as rabbits, and opossums; relatively unusual prey include fish and even marmosets. Like many other cats, they also include a small amount of vegetation and arthropods in their diets.


Jaguarundis are primarily diurnal, being active during the day rather than evenings or night. They are comfortable in trees, but prefer to hunt on the ground. Although they seem to be somewhat more gregarious than many other cats, willing to tolerate the close presence of other members of their species, in the wild, they are generally encountered alone, suggesting a solitary lifestyle. Their home range is widely variable, depending on the local environment; individuals have been reported as ranging over territories from 6.8 to 100 km2 (2.6 to 38.6 sq mi). Like other cats, they scent mark their territory by scratching the ground or nearby branches, head-rubbing, urination, and leaving their feces uncovered. They are shy and reclusive, and evidently very cautious of traps.