Pallas´s cat, or manul, lives in the cold and arid steppes of central Asia. Winter temperatures can drop to 50 degrees below zero. By Kjetil Kolbjornsrud | Shutterstock.com
Pallas´s cat, or manul, lives in the cold and arid steppes of central Asia. Winter temperatures can drop to 50 degrees below zero. By Kjetil Kolbjornsrud | Shutterstock.com

About Pallas’s cat.

The fur of these animals hides its real size, similar to that of any domestic cat. The density and length of its fur makes it look much larger.


Its fur is the densest and longest of all cats. This helps them stand the cold temperatures of the areas where they live. The tone of its color varies too depending on the season: grey and uniform in winter, and with ochre stripes over its body in the summer.


They are extremely solitary animals. Females are only in estrus for one or two days, when they mate with males.


A female gives birth to a litter of 2-6 kittens. After living with her 6 months, they are ready to hunt and survive on their own. By the time they are 10 months they can already breed.


Manul’s pupils are circular and they contract keeping the same shape, unlike the rest of the cats.


Pallas’s cats hunt by ambushing their prey. They are not very agile animals, so they use the surprise factor, hidden in the brush, to jump over their prey.


Considering that they are felines and cats, they can’t run fast . When chased, they escape hiding in rock crevices.


They purr like cats, but they also growl like a small dog would do.


It takes its common name, Palla’s cat, from the naturalist that described this species for the first time: Peter Pallas. Its scientific name (manul) means “ugly-eared” in Greek.


As they need to hide in the brush to hunt, this species has adapted its ears: they are on the sides of their head instead of on the top, like the rest of the cats. This gives them an unusual distinctive look and allows them to peek over rocks without exposing them.


The color of their fur is adapted to their surroundings and provides camouflage from predators, blending into the rocky background.


Even though they seem friendly, cute and fluffy, they are extremely aggressive. From the moment they are born, their instinct makes them reject any company.

Pallas's Cat (Otocolobus manul). By Vladislav T. Jirousek | Shutterstock.com
Pallas’s Cat (Otocolobus manul). By Vladislav T. Jirousek | Shutterstock.com
COMMON NAMECONSERVATION STATUS
Pallas’s CatNear threatened
SCIENTIFIC NAMESIZE
Otocolobus manul46-65 cm (18-26 in) + 21-31 cm (8,3-12,2 in)
FAMILYWEIGHT
Felidae2.5 – 4.5 kg (5.5 – 9.9 lb)
ORDERLIFESPAN
CarnivoraAn average of 2.3 years in the wild
CLASSGESTATION PERIOD
Mammalia74-75 days
POPULATIONDIET
15,000 individuals approx.Small rodents and birds. Mainly the pika.
HABITATRANGE
They inhabit steppes in Asia and prefer rocky areas with few trees. Barren mountainous regions, steppes and semi-desert areas.They are found in the east and south coasts of the Caspian sea and in parts of Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Mongolia.

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