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Ringtail Cats: Photos of the 'Cutest Animal in North America'

Big talkers

Ringtail cats

(Image credit: AZ State Library)

For such shy and elusive animals, ringtail cats have a wide and loud variety of calls. Besides their high-pitched scream when attacked, adult ringtail cats communicate their desires with a loud and explosive bark and/or a long-high pitched wail. Young ringtails communicate their desires with a series of chirps, squeaks and/or whimpers. Ringtails commonly use scent to communicate their territorial boundaries and to both attract a mate or deter a same sex rival.

Honored in AZ

Ringtail cats

(Image credit: NPS)

Ringtail cats most certainly would be in the running for the title of "North America's Cutest Mammals." In 1988, the state of Arizona, after a vote by the state's schoolchildren, passed legislation making the ringtail cat the Official State Mammal of Arizona. A fine honor for a shy little critter that is seldom seen by the humans they so commonly live around.