Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Fishing Cat

If you’re a cat owner you probably know that most of our domestic felines aren’t too fond of getting wet, and it’s likely that you’ve accumulated your fair share of scratches and bite marks from the joy that is “bath-time”. However there is one cat that not only doesn’t mind the water, but spends most of its time in and around it; the fishing cat.

Fishing cats live in Southeast Asia in the countries of Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and parts of India. Though they may look similar to a domestic house cat, they’re about double the size and can weigh up to 35lbs. Their name comes from how they hunt. Fishing cats will stand in and around streams and marshes and draw their paws across the water imitating the movements of insects to attract fish, swiping their meal out of the water. They’re excellent swimmers too; they have webbed feet and can almost completely close up their tiny ears when under water.

While they may look cute, fishing cats are very much wild animals and not all that closely related to domestic cats. Like so many other animals that depend on wetlands, habitat loss due to human encroachment has hurt the fishing cat, and it is an endangered species.

Below is a video showing fishing cat kittens learning to hunt at the Cincinnati Zoo.

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