Weight: 25 pounds
Head/Body: 32 inches
Tail: 12 inches
The Fishing Cat is a strongly-built cat, having short feet and a big head. Fishing Cats have an olive-gray coat with black spots. The back has a pronounced white center spot. Akin to the flat-headed cat, the claws are shortened, yet the Fishing Cat has less established teeth.
They can be found in mangrove swamps, creeks, oxbow lakes and reed beds of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia (Java, Sumatra), Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia), Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The gestation of the Fishing Cat is around 60+ days, and the female Fishing Cats give birth to one to four kittens. The eyes of the young open after the sixteenth day. Weaning is at about 4 to 6 months, and the offspring attain adult size by the time it reaches 9 months of age. In the tenth month it is independent from the parents.
The lifespan of this cat, in captivity, averages about 12 years. It is believed that they are loners, but there have been observations of the male Fishing Cat assisting with the raising of the newborns.
Regardless of popular belief, not all cats dislike water. The main diet of Fishing Cats is fish, and they can catch them in a number of ways. They mimic insects by lightly tapping the water, so fish think that there are insects on the waters surface, thereby attracting them. They can either swim to rush after one, or can scoop out the fish using their paws. The Fishing Cat can use its short tail as a rudder while swimming. They also eat mollusks, crustaceans, snakes and frogs. They have also been known to include civets, wild pigs, dogs, goats, poultry and rodents in their diet.
The Fishing cat is threatened by hunting and habitat loss. Wetland areas have been cleared by humans to make room for farmland and roads. Pollution from industries also threatens the Fishing cat's habitats.
The Fishing cat is listed as Vulnerable (VU), and considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.