01/08/2014 10:42 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Santos, The 9-Week-Old Ocelot Kitten, Plays With His Toys Just Like A House Cat (VIDEO)

At the Cincinnati Zoo, Santos, the 9-week-old ocelot, seems like your average house cat just enjoying his toys.

Don't be fooled. These nocturnal animals are actually far from domestic, and can be quite territorial and even violent when defending their space.

In the wild, ocelots occupy a range of habitats from rainforests to coastal marshes to semi-deserts. An adult can weigh between 17 and 24 pounds, and stand 16 to 20 inches tall, according to Big Cat Rescue. Sadly, their survival is threatened by a high infant mortality rate, deforestation and habitat destruction, but zoos like Cincinnati work to protect these beautiful cats.

Santos is a member of the Cat Ambassador Program, which helps preserve endangered predatory cats and then has them leash-trained for up-close interaction.



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