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Fishing Cat - A true water cat

 

The fishing cat is native to the riverbanks from India through Southeast AsiaFishing Cat and these cats love to fish. They have partially webbed paws, and a double layer of fur so when they go in the water they don't get wet down to the skin. They don't have full claw sheaths so their claws are partially visible even when retracted (similar to a cheetah). A medium sized wild cat of the wetlands, they are another unique example of the great abilities and diversities of the cat family. When swimming, they may use its short, flattened tail like a rudder, helping control its direction in the water.

 

They have a long, stocky body, relatively short legs, round ears, broad head, and short tail. Coat is an olive gray and is marked by dark spots that may form stripes over spine. Ears are short and round while the nose is of a flattened appearance. Feet are somewhat webbed that enables the Fishing Cat to maintain a degree of traction on slippery muds, though it is now believed the webbing is not of any extraordinary extent. Fishing cats range from about 25 pounds for males to about 15 pounds for females. Head and body length is 25 to 34 inches.

 

They are a hunter mostly of aquatic animals, specializing in fish, frogs, mollusks and snakes. At the same time it does not spare terrestrial prey including rodents, deer, goats, dogs and even young wild boars. The opportunistic cat has also been known to go after birds and kills of other predators. The cat attracts fish by lightly tapping the water's surface with its paw, mimicking insect movements. They stick their wiskers in the water to feel the vibrations of the fish coming close, then it dives into the water to catch the fish when they get close. It can also use its partially webbed paws to scoop fish, frogs, and other prey out of the water or swim underwater to prey on ducks and other aquatic birds. It is powerful enough to take large prey, such as calves and dogs.

 

Little is known about the details of their reproductive or social behavior in the wild. Pregnancy lasts around two months after which a litter of one to five kittens is born. They are weaned, after half an year at the most and gain independence after one year of age.

 

Though they are not yet endangered in the wild, they are are lisFishing Cat catching a fish in a streamted as vulnerable on the World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Species. They are threatened by habitat loss and hunting for food and fur. People have drained many wetland areas to make room for farmland and roads. Pollution from industries has poisoned rivers and streams where fishing cats once fed. However, fishing cats appear to do well in suburban habitats, so they may prove adaptable to human activities that some other species.