The clouded leopard is a cat found from the Himalayan foothills through mainland Southeast Asia into China, and has been classified as Vulnerable in 2008 by IUCN. Its total population size is suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with a decreasing population trend, and no single population numbering more than 1,000 adults.
The clouded leopard is considered to form an evolutionary link between the big cats and the small cats.
The Sunda clouded leopard found on Sumatra and Borneo is genetically distinct and has been considered a separate species since 2006.
Both species are the smallest of the big cats, and are not closely related to the leopard.