What Is a Fishing Cat?

Making a splash: Cats dont like water, and they definitely dont swim, right? Well, thats only true of some catsothers actually love the water! Fishing cats are one of the best swimmers around and are completely at home in the water. Cats are supposed to roam the land while hunting small terrestrial animals, but sometimes you want to be something different!

The cats tail is fairly short, less than half of its body length, and its coat is olive-gray with black spots and stripes. They are sometimes found in tropical dry forests and have even been seen in the Indian Himalayas, at elevations of 4,900 feet (1,500 meters) in dense vegetation near rivers and streams.

Farmers chickens, dogs, goats, and calves are fair game for the fishing cat, as are leftovers from someone elses meal, including morsels tigers leave behind after theyve eaten their fill. Like many smaller felines, fishing cats communicate with hisses, guttural growls, and even a low, demanding meow.

How can you tell if a cat is fishing?

The grey-brown feline has stripes along its face and neck, and spots on its torso and legs ⁠— like a cross between a leopard and a housecat. Its underside is covered in thick, white fur, flecked with muck from the clayey wetland floor, and its eyes gleam yellow-green, like jewels.

Can you have a fishing cat as a pet?

No, these cats do not make good pets. They are wild cats with sharp teeth and claws, and they are more than capable of defending themselves from threats. Domestic cats are much more appropriate companions.

Are fishing cats aggressive?

Fishing cats have been seen swimming underwater to grab a duck’s legs. If you think fishing cats look cute and cuddly, think again—these small cats can be very aggressive.

Did a fishing cat killed a leopard?

There is also a very famous historical account of a fishing that had been captured and put in a cage killing a female leopard in the cage just adjacent to it. Much smaller in size though it may be than the larger cats, it apparently makes up for it with tremendous pugnacity.

The fishing cat‘s coat is a camouflaged gray-brown with distinctive black spots and stripes. Six to eight black lines run from the cat‘s forehead to its neck, breaking up into shorter bars and spots on its shoulders. Its cheeks have white highlights and black marks, and its eyes are ringed with white fur. The ears are short and round, and the back of the ears are black. When viewed from the front, they have a distinctive white spot in the center.

Separate reports place fishing cats in the north coast of Java, but biologists have not seen the species there since, and the population known to live in Ujung Kulon National Park died from poisoning in 2006. In much of their geographic range, humans carve a life out of the land in underdeveloped areas, including foothills, coastal forests, swamps and intertidal marshes.

Additionally, deforestation for logging operations reduces the lands capacity to recharge its water supply and maintain soil health. Silt, along with human products like effluent, trash and chemical pollution and agricultural runoff, washes downstream and settles in bodies of still water, which alters the landscape by filling in marshes and wetlands. This is because the cats play such a significant role in controlling a complex food chain (called a tropic cascade) that is contingent on access to water.

These cats are legally protected in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Fishing cat is a small cat of medium size and stocky build, with short legs and a short tail, and a face that is round but elongated. Their scientific name comes from their viverrine or civet-like appearance rather than any adaptation for fishing. They have an olive gray coat which has a pattern of rows of parallel black spots which will often form stripes on their back. Females are noticeably smaller than males. A major difference between the fishing cat and its relatives is that its claws do not fully retract, the tips remaining sticking out a little from the sheath of skin they have on their toes, whereas most cats can retract their claws completely when they are not using them, in order to stop them from becoming blunt.

The Fishing cat is a solitary and nocturnal hunter that rests during the day amongst dense vegetation and then at night heads to the water to find food. Fishing cats are relatively adaptable creatures and some live in city suburbs close to human settlements where there is little vegetation.

When it swims, the Fishing cat is able to use its flattened, short tail like a rudder, to help control its direction.

Misc.: This is yet another example of a cat that disproves the misconception that cats dont like water. This cat received its Latin name from its civet-like appearance (the viverridae family) from Bennet (1833) who first described the Fishing Cat scientifically.

Its coat is olive gray and is patterned with rows of parallel solid black spots, which often form stripes along the spine. Reproduction and Offspring: After a gestation of 63 days, females produce a litter of 1-4 kittens, with the average being 2.

They will also prey on terrestrial mammals such as rodents, civets, young chital fawns, wild pigs, and even domestic animals such as goats, dogs, calves and poultry. A survey showed that more than 50% of Asian wetlands are faced with moderate to high degrees of threat and disappearing. These threats include settlement, draining for agriculture, pollution, and excessive hunting, woodcutting and fishing.

HABITAT AND DIET

Fishing cats are attracted to all types of water and live in wetlands, their most common stomping ground, with marshes, swamps, and mangroves also high on the list of suitable habitat. They are sometimes found in tropical dry forests and have even been seen in the Indian Himalayas, at elevations of 4,900 feet (1,500 meters) in dense vegetation near rivers and streams. Little is known about fishing cats in the wilderness, but it is thought that they have no natural predators, other than humans.Fishing cats mainly eat fish but also dine on other prey found in the water, including crabs, crayfish, and frogs. Of course, they don’t use a fishing pole! Instead, the cats wade in shallow water and use their paws to scoop fish out of the water, or they dive headfirst into deeper areas to catch a meal with their teeth.The cats have also been seen eating snakes, rodents, young deer, and wild pigs and ducks. Farmers’ chickens, dogs, goats, and calves are fair game for the fishing cat, as are leftovers from someone else’s meal, including morsels tigers leave behind after they’ve eaten their fill. These un-finicky felines are willing to eat any time of the day, which gives them more menu choices.

FAMILY LIFE

Like many smaller felines, fishing cats communicate with hisses, guttural growls, and even a low, demanding meow. A male and female make a sound called chittering as part of their courtship, with the female signaling her willingness to breed and the male communicating submissiveness. Fishing cats mark their territory and breeding status with their strong-smelling urine.If it has been a good rainy season, the food should be plentiful. And if it is warm and sunny, fishing cat kittens have a better chance of being healthy. Fishing cat females give birth in the spring to an average of two kittens in a litter. They raise their young without help from the male; he doesn’t stay around once breeding time is over.The kittens learn to fish by watching their mother. At 10 months, the young fishing cats are ready to venture out on their own.