Fishing cats are native to southern Asia but are rarely seen by humans. They tend to be elusive, nocturnal felines that can produce a lot of noise at the night. Fishing cats are believed to have adapted well to living near water and using it as a hunting ground – they can be found on the banks of rivers, in marshes, and around lakes.

Physical Description

fishing cat

With its distinctive black spots and stripes and six to eight black lines running from its forehead to its neck, the fishing cat has grown a distinctive and identifiable coat. With an unending amount of fur and all-black markings.

Often fishing cats have a long, narrow nose that is deep in color and maybe pink or brick. They have white spots along their throat and chin called chronicles. You'll also find dark-brown or chocolate-brown fur on their belly, lips, chin, and throat. Look at this leopard cat with really long fur! Its tail is shorter than a housecat, but it has spots & bands that distinguish it from the domesticated ones.

This cat is powerfully built with short limbs and a stocky body. Its head is round and elongated. The fishing cat's swimming abilities put it at the top of any predator list! The newly discovered species, which has yet to be given a Latin name, was found in 2007 ad 900 meters deep in Mexican waters. They have a body length of around 2'9". Their front toes are partially webbed and their claws protrude slightly even when retracted. This facilitates the capture of prey, especially while underwater.

Cats have a unique adaptation - their fur! The compact, dense layer right against the cat's skin is made up of tightly packed hair strands and can prevent water from penetrating the cat's skin. The fishing cat's unique pattern is caused by the knotted coat of long guard hairs.


This fishing cat is the second largest of the 28 species. It's a robust, meat-eater with strong legs for walking around on land. The cat has a unique body length of 33-55 inches (85-115 centimeters) and stands over 16 inches (40 centimeters) at its shoulder height. Adult male adults are heavy and weigh about 18-31 pounds (8-14 kilograms) and females about 11-20 pounds (5-9 kilograms).

Native Habitat

fishing cat

There's some controversy over the fishing cat range as it is unknown and not yet fully understood. Its natural range extends across Southeast Asia to Pakistan and it also has a large portion of its range in the Himalayan foothills.

Fishing cats are abundant in parts of Asia, including some protected areas. Some camera traps confirm their number, but it's hard to get all the details on them. The last recorded camera trap capture in Vietnam was in 2000. There are reports of fishing cats spotted in urban areas of Sri Lanka. Fish data reported on the north coast of Java may just be the work of some flimsy fisherman looking to make a quick buck.

These reports may have been fake news. It's possible that there are still Separate reports placing fishing cats on the north coast of Java, but biologists haven't seen them since, and that population is known to live in Ujung Kulon National Park. Fishing Cats are commonly preyed upon by big cats and humans. Fishing cat populations in Thailand are thought to be harmed by hunting, poaching, and competition from bigger species like leopards.

In Vietnam, fishing cats live primarily in the wild but can be found in areas around villages where they often come into contact with humans and are occasionally hunted for their meat. Fishing cats have been portrayed in myths and legends across the world, often being used as a symbol of good luck or feared for their voracity.

The fishing cats usually live in wetland areas, such as marshes, swamps, and mangrove forests. Foraging fish cat populations are sensitive to habitat changes throughout the year, with cave and burrow predators such as rats, in particular, being of concern. The species is typically found within an approximately 3000-mile rectangular region that runs from North Africa to Eastern Russia.

Fishing cats can be found in places with a lot of people, where a lot of water is present. It's important to do survey work before establishing a population of fishing cats. It is possible the increased human development may be impacting the fishing cats. In the meantime, they keep on adapting.


A solitary male will be attracted to a solitary female by her chorus of yowls and screeches because they are signifying that she is struggling and needs help.

Food/Eating Habits

fishing cat

Fishing cats can eat a wide variety of small mammals and fish, as well as some birds. They also have been known to dine on shellfish from time to time. In the wild, leopards have been known to "fish" in large bodies of water, scooping their prey from the depths of the water and playing with fish in shallow waters.

The Smithsonian National Zoo feeds its fishing cats a variety of food, including prepared meat, smelt, and herring, small fish (including capelin and other types of fish), and whole prey items (like rabbits and rats) as well as beef knucklebones. Fish for your fish to play with. So give the goldfish plenty of space and have fun together!

Social Structure

Despite the lack of information, it's assumed that they like to be on their own and go about their business away from others. Other than breeding/rearing, they are mostly solitary as most other cats are.

Reproduction and Development

fishing cat

Those of you who love the adorable little things that are kittens will be delighted to find out one of their most exciting features is their birth. After a gestation process that takes approximately 65 days, they are born in the warmest part of the year and do not open their eyes until some time later. However, they're never really out of arms reach as mom cat nurses them.

The next time you're out on the streets and you see a little black kitten with a white belly in your path, please do not pass him by! If you care for one successfully, it will most likely grow up to be a faithful companion. In due time they grow to be jumbo-sized and bravely venture out into the wild awaiting their journey to the great beyond.

Female dogs usually become sexually mature around 18 months of age. When kept indoors, these dogs are reproductively active throughout the year and cycle monthly. There is also a pseudopregnancy period, where their bodies mimic pregnancy for a little while; typically 3 - 5 days.

Naturally spiking their fertility, adult female fishing cats in certain areas can become pregnant without sitting still long enough for insemination by a male. It's pretty challenging to catch them naturally, so artificial insemination is typically the next best option.

Most female dogs (and cats) will develop an estrous cycle of 4 - 7 days, where they are in heat for one or two days and then not for about a week. They will typically be in heat for 3 weeks out of the month; with their cycles becoming irregular as they reach maturity.

Mates in wild mammal species are often observed assisting their partners from the time of conception until maturity, but it is unclear whether they help them only during this period.


fishing cat

Because they live in such a harsh environment, fishing cats can survive for many years. While the lifespan in captivity is unknown, it most likely varies wildly.

People also ask

Can fishing cats be pets?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Fishing cats are not really cats, but they have been domesticated and can make great pets. They are very affectionate and playful.

Why it is called a fishing cat?

The fishing cat is a small, wild cat that lives in southern Asia. The fishing cats are named so because they love to fish. They can be found in India, China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The fishing cats are known for their ability to catch fish by jumping out of the water and catching them with their paws. They have been known to catch as many as 40 fish in a single day!

Are fishing cats extinct?

The fishing cat is a small, semi-aquatic cat that was once found in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The fishing cat is one of the most endangered cats in the world.

The fishing cat has been extinct for over 100 years and it's unlikely to be seen alive again.

fishing cat

Do fishing cats have predators?

Cats are predators of many animals including rodents, birds, and insects.

Some cats are known to be predators of fish as well. They have a unique way of catching fish which includes stalking their prey and jumping out of the water to catch them.

How many fishing cats are left in the world?

As of 2018, there are around 3,000 fishing cats left in the world, a number that is expected to drop to less than 1,000 by 2050. This drastic drop in numbers is due to the fact that they are being hunted for their pelts.

Fishing cats are endangered because of the excessive hunting and trade in their pelts. There has been an increase in demand for their pelts over the past few decades due to the rise of fur fashion trends.

But with increased awareness of these animals and more people becoming aware of how cruel it is to hunt them down for their skins, hopefully, this trend will change soon.

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