A cat-fisher, or a fish cat, or a speckled cat, or a civet cat is a species of mammal from the genus of oriental cats of the cat family.
Appearance of a cat fisherman
In appearance, the cat-fisher is very much like a civet. The adult reaches 38-40 cm at the withers, body length 96 - 120 cm.Cat fisher (Prionailurus viverrinus).
In this species of feline males are significantly larger than females. The weight of an adult female is 6 - 7 kg, and the weight of a male 11 - 15 kg. This cat is very strong and has a strong physique. The muzzle of the animal is wide and short, and the nose is weakly expressed. Ears set low on the sides of the head are rounded.
The jaw also has a rounded shape. The neck of the animal is relatively short, and the head is rounded. The tail is short and thick enough near the base. The legs of the animal are also relatively short. On the front paws between the fingers of the speckled cat there are membranes that help the animal move faster in the water and more effectively catch fish.Clutching his ears, a cat fisherman demonstrates aggression.
On the forehead of a fish cat are rows of spots and lines running in the longitudinal direction. A similar pattern is also present on the nape and crown. There are white spots on the black outside of the ears.
Most of the body is tinted from olive gray to olive brown. The coat of the cat is matte, devoid of shine, which helps it to effectively disguise itself. The rest of the body also has a pattern of spots, which is located in the transverse direction on the lower part of the body, and longitudinally in the upper one.
Habitat and habitat of cat fisherman
The natural habitat is subtropical and tropical climatic zones in Java, Sumatra, Indochina, east and south India, Ceylon.In search of food, the cat waits for prey near the shore, and with one well-aimed jump jumps at the fish.
There are two subspecies of the cat fisherman, which differ only in the size of the animal. The first subspecies, whose representatives are small, inhabits the territory of the islands of Bali and Java.
The second, larger subspecies, lives on Sumatra, on the coast of Southeast and South Asia up to Malacca, as well as on the island of Sri Lanka.
Within the natural habitat, the wyverra cat adheres to places with high humidity, such as coastal mangrove swamps, jungles.
The lifestyle and nutrition of a cat fisherman
Although these cats are known for their aggressive, cocky behavior, in the wild they avoid contact with humans. The difference between the speckled cat and most other representatives of the cat family is their good adaptability to the aquatic environment. These animals hunt not only near the coast, but directly in the water, in shallow water.Viverra cats have a reputation as brawlers and bullies, but they avoid encounters with humans.
It is easy to guess that the main product in the diet of a fish cat is fish. The speckled cat hunts sitting on the shore and paw knocks ashore a fish floating by the shore, or dives after it to the bottom in shallow places. In addition to fish, a cat eats frogs, snails, birds and snakes. On land far from the coast, a cat fisherman sometimes preys on insects, mice and small mammals.
Breeding cat fishermen
Although mating in fishing cats can occur at any time of the year, the peak of sexual activity occurs at the end of January - February. Like many other feline species, in a fish cat, a female builds a den for future offspring. She makes shelter in hard-to-reach places, such as reed beds.Captive males help females care for their offspring, but it is not known how “daddies” behave in nature.
Pregnancy lasts for 65 - 70 days, after which the female produces a litter consisting of 2 to 3 cubs. Like many other cats, cubs of a fishing cat are born blind and helpless. The weight of the newborn is only about 170 g.
After a month, the cubs not only see and hear well, but also show activity. From the age of 60 days, they already begin to switch from mother’s milk to solid food, but young animals stop completely eating milk at the age of 6 months. Kittens reach the size of an adult at the eighth month of life. At the beginning of the first year of life in young cats, primary teeth are replaced by primary teeth. Speckled cats reach puberty at the age of one and a half years.