The Oncilla has been trapped in large numbers for the fur trade. In 1971, 28,000 pelts were counted in Brazilian warehouses, and in 1983, 84,500 skins were exported from Paraguay.
It is difficult to ascertain the effects of habitat degradation as so little is known of Leopardus tigrinus.
In 1985, 675 spotted cat skins, mainly Oncilla, were seized in Brazil.
Leopardus tigrinus is considered by the IUCN as "Lower Risk" sub-category "near threatened" species. CITES upgraded the species to "Appendix 1" in 1989.