They occupy a wide
variety of habitats, from the pampas grasslands and arid Chaco shrub
and woodlands, up to alpine saline deserts. It is absent from
tropical rain forests, broad-leaved forests, and open areas. It
occupies the same areas as the Pampas Cat, but the Geoffroy’s sticks
to dense ground cover which separates the two ecologically. They are
versatile hunters and prey on a variety of animals including
rodents, hares, fish, reptiles, birds, and various small mammals.
They are agile climbers and are often seen residing in trees,
preferring a habitat of underbrush as seen in tropical rain forests.
After a gestation of
approximately 72-78 days, females produce a litter of 2 to 4 kittens
that mature at a prodigious rate, being able to stand at four days of age and
climb trees at few weeks. Females are the sole parents and take
extra care in choosing the birthplace. Totally mobile at six weeks,
kittens gain independence at eight months. They are solitary in the
wild, and the females will have overlapping home ranges, males
however, will not. They are nocturnal and partially arboreal. The
males and females will come together for mating.
The biggest threat has
been the exploitation of its pelt for the fur trade, which sadly
still exists. The good news is that commercial hunting has virtually
ceased, and the kills from which the pelts are derived are from cats
killed as pests and livestock predators. This has helped reduce the
numbers from what was an average of 55,000 animals per year to
considerably less (exact figures not known). Deforestation from
human encroachment is also a problem facing this little cat, but
since so little is known of its habits, the extent of the damage is
unknown at this time.