What Do Ocelots Eat?

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Ocelot diets primarily include mice, rabbits, rats, snakes, fish and birds. Ocelots resemble house cats in size and behavior; they are nimble and flexible, and they can quickly snatch prey from tree branches, the ground and in shallow waters.

As with most wild animals, the diets of ocelots vary with the availability of resources, local climate conditions and the seasons. Ocelots are primarily solitary individuals, as are most other cats and felines, although they occasionally hunt in pairs or small packs. In the United States, ocelots live primarily in the Southwest, making their homes in Arizona and Texas. According to New Hampshire Public Television, their habitat range also extends down to Central and South America; it is not uncommon to find them in Mexico and as far south as Argentina. Although ocelots do not embark on seasonal or annual migrations, their diets often revolve around migratory species. In the fall and spring, for instance, they may eat migratory species of birds and consume local populations of moles, mice, rats and other rodents during the year. Ocelots live primarily in forested areas and plains, and they hunt at night. They make dens in sheltered areas such as cliffs and beneath fallen trees, and they may take up residence near grassy areas or waterways; the location of their dwellings often influences their diets.