|The ocelot is a medium-sized cat with a graceful body, long, powerful legs, and a short tail. Its coat is a soft creamy yellow with striking center-spotted rosettes of black with a soft brown color inside the rosette. The rosettes often link up to form chains. Its head is boldly marked with black spots and bars. Its tail is heavily ringed with a black tip.
The ocelot may be found in any type of cover from thorny chaparral to jungle, but never in the open, of North and South America south of the United States, where it hunts by night, from the ground, but spends the day secure in high trees, and seeks birds, deer, peccary, coati mundi, agouti and other small mammals.
This cat has a severe handicap in being one of the most beautiful of all cats. As a result it has been hunted to near-extinction for its pelt, in spite of being a protected species in most countries. It is believed that not all subspecies currently remain.