Fishing Cat

ANIMAL:
Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus

Type of Animal:
Feline

Habitat:
Swamps, marshland, oxbow lakes, reed beds, tidal creeks, mangroves, rivers, streams, dense grassland, tropical/subtropical forest, scrub

Location(s):
Densely vegetated areas of S.W. India & Sri Lanka through S. Himalayas to Bangladesh, Burma, Indochina, & S.E. China. Also found in Java & Sumatra. Almost always found near water.

Appearance:
Fairly stocky build, olive-gray coloration w/ blackish rows of spots along w/ some stripes & short tail, somewhat short legs, males have squarer head than females, otherwise sexes look very similar.

Food/Diet:
Fish, snails, crabs, crayfish, snakes, frogs, toads, birds, domestic dogs, domestic calves, domestic goats, domestic piglets, chital fawns, civets, rodents, rabbits, hares, primates, otters, carrion, grass

Status in Wild:
Threatened

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers

Lifestyle:
Solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Tom
Female-Queen
Young-Kitten
Group-Solitary

Weight:
Male-18-31 lbs
Female-11-20 lbs
Young-2-2.25 lbs

Gestation:
2 months

Height:
1.16 ft

Body Length:
Male-2.3 ft
Female-2.2 ft

Life Span:
10 years in wild, 12 years in captivity

Tail Length:
Male- 0.76-1.15 ft
Female- 0.73-1.1 ft

Main predators are crocodiles & large pythons.

Threatened due to habitat loss, pollution, pesticides, pet trade, human encroachment, deforestation, hunting for fur, & persecution as a killer of goats, poultry, & calves.

Kittens leave mom at age of 10 months.

They’re very territorial & fights sometimes result in death.

To attract fish, they tap the surface of the water.

Territory marked w/ urine & spray.

Like many cats, they’re nocturnal.

They’re known to be very elusive.

Fun Fact(s):
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THEIR CUTE APPEARANCE-There have been several documented cases of mothers w/ kittens driving off packs of dogs & severely injuring humans. In one instance, a large male got through a partition and killed a female leopard in a neighboring enclosure.

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