Ocelot, Tom Smylie, USFWS
© Tom Smylie, USFWS


Basic Facts About Ocelots

Ocelots range in color from light yellow to reddish gray, with dark spots and stripes. They have dark stripes on their cheeks and their tailed have rings of dark fur.


Ocelots are carnivores, they hunt and eat animals such as rodents, rabbits, young deer, birds, snakes and fish.


An estimated 800,000 to 1.5 million are found worldwide. In the U.S., just 30 ocelots remain in an isolated population in southeast Texas.


Did You Know?

In captivity, ocelots can live 20 years while in the wild they live 7 - 10 years.

Once ranging as far east as Arkansas and Louisiana, throughout Texas and in Mexico, ocelots are currently found only in extreme southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. They are also found in every country south of the United States except Chile.


Ocelots are strongly nocturnal, resting in trees or dense brush during the day. Ocelots are very active, traveling from one to five miles per night. Males usually travel further than females. They capture an average of one prey item for every 3.1 hours of travel.


Following a 79- to 85-day gestation, young are born in litters of one to three. Kittens are independent after about one year, but may stay with their mother for an additional year.

Threats to Ocelots

Habitat loss due to agriculture, hunting for their fur, pet trade.