The Fishing Cat

The Fishing Cat
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The fishing cat is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia. The Fishing Cat is well adapted to catching fish, its primary prey. They have a deep-chested body with short legs, a big, broad head, and a short tail. The short, coarse fur is a grizzled grey in colour, and tinged with brown. There are elongated dark brown spots arranged in longitudinal rows extending over the entire body. There are six to eight dark lines running from the forehead to the neck, and the under parts are whitish and spotted. The head is relatively big and broad, the muzzle somewhat elongated. Their eyes have greenish irises, and the ears are rather short and rounded, with black on the back and prominent white spots in the middle. The legs are short with the forelimbs having two distinct elbow bars. The tail is less than half the head and body length, is relatively thick, and has a series of incomplete rings with a black tip.

The Fishing Cat is a nocturnal and solitary hunter that rests amongst dense vegetation during the day before heading to the water at night to find food. They are incredibly strong and capable swimmers and have been known to swim vast distances often in pursuit of a fish trying to get away.

The Fishing Cat is a carnivorous animal that only hunts and consumes other animals in order to acquire all of the nutrients that it needs to survive. As it’s name suggests, aquatic animals make up the bulk of the Fishing Cat’s diet with more than 70% of the food thought to be fish, followed by molluscs, frogs, snails and snakes that are found in or close to the water. Fishing Cats are also known to hunt small mammals such as mice on land and will even target larger prey like civets, dogs and livestock in areas close to settlements.


 Fishing Cat Facts:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Canivora

Family: Felidae

Genus: Prionailurus

Scientific Name: Prionailurus viverrinus

Common Name: Fishing Cat

Group: Mammal

Number Of Species: 2

Location: south-east Asia

Habitat: Variety of wetland habitats

Colour: Olive-Grey, Black

Skin Type: Fur

Size (L): 57cm – 85cm (22.4in – 33.4in)

Weight: 5.5kg – 8kg (12lbs – 17.6lbs)

Top Speed: 55kph (34mph)

Diet: Carnivore

Prey: Fish, Shellfish, Snakes

Predators: Human

Lifestyle: Nocturnal

Group Behaviour: Solitary

Life Span: 10 – 12 years

Age Of Sexual Maturity: 9 – 10 months

Gestation Period: 63 days

Average Litter Size: 2

Name Of Young: Kitten

Age Of Weaning: 4 – 6 months

Conservation Status: Endangered

Estimated Population Size: Less than 10,000

Biggest Threat: Habitat loss

Most Distinctive Feature: Long, stocky body and slightly webbed paws

Fun Fact: Scoops fish out of the water using its paw

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