Which region of the world is the ringtail (ring-tail cat) native to?
The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) is a mammal of the raccoon family, native to arid regions of North America. Even though it is not a cat, it is also known as the ringtail cat, ring-tailed cat, miner's cat or raccoon fox.
The ringtail is found in the southwestern United States in southern Oregon, California, eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, southern Nevada, Utah, and Texas. In Mexico it ranges from the northern desert state of Baja California to Oaxaca. The ringtail is the state mammal of Arizona.
They live is in rocky desert habitats, where they nest in the hollows of trees or abandoned wooden structures. Ringtails are smaller than a house cat, the body alone measures 12–17 in (30-42 cm) and the tail averages 12–17 in (31-44 cm) from its base. It typically weighs around 1.5 to 3.3 lb (0.7 to 1.5 kg). They are omnivorous. Berries and insects are important in the diet year-round, and become the primary part of the diet in spring and summer, along with other fruit.
The ringtail is said to be easily tamed, and can make an affectionate pet, and effective mouser. Miners and settlers once kept pet ringtails to keep their cabins free of vermin.