The Beautiful Ocelot of Nicaragua

Posted by Jamie Cain on Aug 29, 2019 12:19:43 PM

The beautiful Ocelot is one of Nicaragua’s amazing wildcats. Medium-sized and solitary, this cool cat is such a fascinating and distinctive creature. Last October, the Nicaraguan Central Bank showcased the Ocelot as the coin #4 in their wildly popular “Wildlife of Nicaragua” coin collector series.

Ocelot Photo Courtesy of Houston ChronicalThe New Nicaraguan Ocelot Collectors' Coin

Interestingly, this captivating beauty is the second largest spotted cat in Central and South America. They can grow to be 44 lb and have a distinctive tawny, golden, or brown-grayish coat marked with black rosettes and stripes. The Ocelot, or Leopardus pardalis, is an amazing wildcat not only native to Central and South America, but also the Southwestern United States and Mexico.

Ocelot Photo Courtesy of Houston ChronicalOcelot Resting on a Tree Branch -  Photo Courtesy of Houston Chronical

Like all cats big and small, Ocelots are nocturnal and have incredible eyesight and keen hearing. Of course, they are carnivores, but they are on the hunt mostly during the night. Rodents, birds, reptiles, fish, and crabs are some of their favorite meals. Their razor-sharp teeth make it easy for them to tear their food into bite-sized pieces so they can swallow more easily. Unlike domestic cats, Ocelots are excellent swimmers and aren’t afraid of water. They will travel up to 7 miles in search of food, but prefer to take their prey to a high place so they can eat without being disturbed.

Ocelot Photo Courtesy of Animal TalkA Stunning Ocelot - Photo Courtesy of Animal Talk

Sometimes called a “Dwarf Jaguar”, the Ocelot is a smaller sized wildcat. Therefore, it's a source of food for larger carnivores. They inhabit areas with relatively dense vegetation and can be found sleeping on tree branches or in hollow trees during the day. Moreover, they have an aggressive temperament, and also are very territorial, just like all cats. While their instinct tells them to avoid all people if possible, they could very well go into attack mode if feeling threatened.

Ocelot Photo Courtesy of NatureRules1The Deep Look of an Ocelot - Photo Courtesy of NatureRules

In the deep forest zones of Nicaragua, male and female Ocelots come together only during mating season, and make a loud yowl-like cry when they are ready to mate. Female Ocelots typically have just one litter of kittens every other year. In fact, their pregnancy lasts just 85 days and produces 2 to 3 kittens per litter.

While the kittens are born blind, they will begin to open their eyes after one month. Their adorable kitten body has dark, thick fur and they start developing additional colors after one month as well. The kittens are ready for their independence at around a year old. 

Ocelot -Photo Courtesy of VictoriaAdvocateA Beautiful Baby Ocelot with its Mother - Photo Courtesy of VictoriaAdvocate

The average lifespan of the Ocelot is 10 - 13 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity. The Nicaraguan National Zoo has one of them, and like all wild cats, it's one of the most popular attractions.

For more amazing wildlife found in Nicaragua, check out these 2 blogs:

Jaguar Coin in New Wildlife Series of Nicaragua


Wildlife of Nicaragua Coin Series Features the Three-Toed Sloth


 ECI Development delivers affordable luxury residence and resort communities in Central America, providing our clients with various premier lifestyle options from the Caribbean to the Pacific. ECI delivers inspired residences for adventurous souls.

Coupled with over 20 years of inherent corporate social responsibility in the communities where we work, ECI Development is building a sustainable business that is going to be around for the next 100+ years.

Jamie Cain

Written by Jamie Cain

Jamie Cain is a native Texan. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, and after graduating college, she began a career in modeling. “This was an incredible experience, as I had the opportunity to work and live in many amazing countries and experience all the different cultures.” After, she started a career in real estate in Dallas. Fast forward to 2017, she had the wonderful opportunity to join ECI Development as a Property Advisor for Nicaragua and Belize. Presently, Jamie lives on the East Coast with her husband and two white cats. She enjoys yoga, blogging, photography, and cooking.

Topics: Nicaragua, Tourism in Nicaragua, Vacationing in Nicaragua, Natural Attractions in Nicaragua, Living In Nicaragua