Pallas’ Cat

Octocolobus manul

Similar in size to a housecat, the Pallas’ cat is a predator specialized to live in the mountainous regions of central Asia. Its preferred prey is the pika, a small rabbit-like rodent. While not an adept runner, the Pallas’ cat is an expert ambush predator.

More info

Once it spots a pika, the cat creeps up slowly, masking its approach by hiding behind whatever vegetative cover is available. A flat forehead and low ears allow the cat to peek over bushes and rocks without exposing much of itself to the unwary prey. At just the right moment, the Pallas’ cat pounces.

Fact File

Species @ Risk Image
Species Survival Plan Image
where to see themWhere to see them: Night Hunters
lengthLength: 1.5 to 2 ft
weightWeight: 6.5 to 11 lbs
lifespanLifespan: 8 to 10 yrs in wild
habitatHabitat: Mountain regions, including grassland, woodland, and semi-desert
dietDiet: Pikas, hares, and small rodents such as gerbils, voles, and young marmots
exclamationRisk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Lower risk/near threatened )