The Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul), also known as the manul, was first discovered by German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas in 1776. The cat can be found in grasslands and steppes in Central Asia, including Tajikistan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Kashmir, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. In 2012, a camera trap recorded the first pictures of the cat in Bhutan. In February of 2014, the cat was photographed for the first time in Nepal, an area it was believed to inhabit.
The Pallas’s cat is a small wild cat that is similar in size to a domestic cat. It can weight from 5.5 to almost 10 lbs. The Pallas’s cat is listed as NEAR THREATENED on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
More About the Pallas’s Cat
The Pallas’s cat has a stocky appearance, due in part to its extremely thick fur but also because of the cat’s short legs, which are proportionately much shorter than other wild cats. The fur is a yellowish orange color with dark bands on the central part of the cat’s body and back legs. The cat also has dark rings on its tail and spots on its forehead. Black stripes can be seen running from the corner of the cat’s eyes to its white cheeks.
Hunting & Prey
The Pallas’s cat spends its days hidden in burrows, caves and the crevices of rocks. They prey on various rodents and the Chukar partridge (a member of the pheasant family), and will also eat spiders and insects. Because the cat doesn’t run very fast, it stalks and ambushes its prey.
Pallas’s Cat Reproduction
The female Pallas’s cat will have a litter of between two and four kittens. The litters are usually born during the months of April and May. The kittens will start to hunt at about four months of age.
- Extremely short legs
- Ears that are wide apart and low on the cat’s head
- Very short claws
- A flat-looking face
- Fewer teeth than most wild cats
The cat’s declining population is the result of habitat loss, hunting and a reduction in prey. It is illegal in every country but Mongolia to hunt the cat.
Pallas’s Cat Videos
Organizations Involved in Pallas’s Cat Conservation
Cat Action Treasury (CAT)
CAT was created in 1995 to conserve the world’s 36 species of wild cat.
"...We play a leading role in advancing conservation of the big cats - tiger, lion, snow leopard, cheetah, leopard, jaguar and puma – as well as the rare and little known small cats – including marbled cat, clouded leopard, guiña, Andean cat, Asiatic golden cat, Borneo bay cat, flat-headed cat, black-footed cat and Pallas cat...CAT works closely with the IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group, an international network of over 200 experts on wild cats. " Cat Survival Trust
A United Kingdom charitable organization, trust and sanctuary for wild cats.
International Society for Endangered Cats (ISEC) Canada
A 100% volunteer organization specializing in small wild cat conservation with an extensive online database of wild cat information.
IUCN/SSC: Cat Specialist Group
Advancing the understanding and conservation of the world’s 36 wild living cat species.
"...The IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group brings together more than 200 of the world’s leading cat experts, including scientists, wildlife managers and conservationists from 50 countries who are dedicated to advancing the understanding and conservation of the world’s 36 wild living cat species...The Cat Specialist Group is active in many of its own initiatives as well, focusing on the development of tools for the assessment of the species’ status, for the compilation and distribution of intelligence and for supporting the work of its members..." Pallas' Cat Study and Conservation Program
Organized by the Siberian Environmental Center (Novosibirsk) to support and develop initiatives dedicated to the study and conservation of the Pallas' cat.
Small Cat Conservation Alliance
SWCCF has two parts: Small Cat Conservation Alliance (SCCA) that supports current conservation efforts and Small Wild Cat Conservation Endowment Fund, a permanent endowment fund.
"...The mission of the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation is to ensure the survival of small wild cats and their natural habitats worldwide. This mission is achieved by working with local partners around the world to identify and mitigate threats to the world's small wild cats..." Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation
The mission of the Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation is to ensure the survival of small wild cats and their natural habitats worldwide.