The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) is a mammal of the raccoon family (thus not actually a cat), native to arid regions of North America. It is also known as the ringtail cat, ring-tailed cat or miner’s cat, and is also sometimes mistakenly called a “civet cat” (similar, though unrelated, cat-like omnivores of Asia and Africa). The ringtail is sometimes called a cacomistle, though this term seems to be more often used to refer to Bassariscus sumichrasti (also known as Jentinkia sumichrasti).
(From Wikipedia, April 23, 2010)
– – –
Ringtails are nocturnal, cat-sized carnivores. They are good climbers and are found in habitats that range from dry canyons to wet woodlands, in highland and lowland terrain. They prey on small mammals, but their varied diet also includes other vertebrates, insects, nuts, and fruit. These animals are solitary and territorial, marking their home ranges by depositing urine and feces.