Cats are top predators in the tropical rainforest; adult members of the big species and most of the small have no enemies.

The cats of the tropical rainforest live in the understory.

While they are excellent climbers, they can often be found on the ground, where they track and stalk their prey.

They are exclusively meat eaters.

While a starving cat will not walk past some carrion, all prefer to hunt for their food.

Large species, such as the jaguar, attack brocket deer, tapir and other large game.

Small cats, such as the South American margay, prey on small rodents, birds and lizards.

Cats kill when they need to eat.

JaguarFor example, an adult jaguar, for example, needs about one peccary a week, while a nursing female needs more.

This means they must occupy an area where they can find sufficient food for a family's needs.

A female jaguar holds a territory of up to six square miles; a female margay requires just a tenth of that.

Because each species of cat has its own feeding niche, the same rainforest may contain several different species of cat.