The fishing cat is perhaps the only type of cat, which has a strong attachment to water, as it eats mostly fish.
The animal sits in an ambush on the shore, and when fishing cat comes close to it – jumps into the water and with one precise hit of a clawed paw throws it ashore. Today we will tell you amazing facts about fishing cats.
Distribution of fishing cats
This unusual animal is also called: a fisherman, and Asian fish cat. This cat is common in Sri Lanka, along the coast of South and Southeast Asia as far as Malacca and Sumatra; the smallest representatives of the species live in Java and Bali. Fishing cat – inhabit the wet jungle up to 1500 meters above sea level, mangrove coastal swamps near rivers and streams.
The appearance of fishing cats
Fishing cats have a strong muscular body 95-120 cm long, short legs; large rounded head with strong jaws. The neck of a cat fisherman is also short, the ears are rounded, small, low on the sides of the head; the tail is not long (26-36 cm) and thick at the base. Females in this predator are smaller than males, they weigh only 6-7 kg (the weight of a male can reach 11-15 kg.) The fur of a fishing cat is short and rough, painted in olive-brown or olive-gray color, which makes it almost invisible in thickets. It is amazing that on its front paws, between its fingers, this cat has membranes that do not allow large and sharp claws to retract but help fishing in the water.
Lifestyle and nutrition of fishing cats
Fishing cats can climb trees, but does it very rarely. Most often it can be seen walking in shallow water. It swims perfectly and uses its short tail as a steering wheel. The fishing cat is a single animal; each individual has its territory. As the name implies, this predator’s favorite food is fish. It catches it in the light of day, and at dusk and night, it can hunt for other prey. During fishing, the fishing cat sits on the bank of a stream or river and waits, but as soon as he notices the fish, he abruptly hits the prey with his clawed paw. It also hunts toads, frogs, crustaceans, snakes, small mammals, and birds, sometimes even attacks poultry, dogs, goats, and calves.
Reproduction of fishing cats
Fishing cats breed all year round. 2-3 blind kittens female gives birth in a den, which is arranged in thickets of cane or bush, natural caves, in hollow trees. The eyes of the cubs open for 15 days, the mother feeds them with milk for up to 3 months and then begins to feed them meat. Kittens grow up by the age of 9 months. Male of fishing cats, contained in captivity, help the female to take care of her kittens, but it is not known exactly how they behave in nature.
Nature conservation status of fishing cats
Caught at a young age, fishing cats are well tamed and attached to people. However, the local population persecutes those cats that steal their poultry and devastate their fish stocks. Also, meat and hides of fishing cats are used by aborigines in folk medicine to prepare medicines. The fishing cat is a rare animal, listed in the IUCN Red List.
Subspecies of fishing cats
- Prionailurus viverrinus risophores
- Prionailurus viverrinus viverrinus
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