Thursday 3 July 2014

Pallas cat - Otocolobus manul (cute video)

This is a neat little high-quality video of a Pallas cat inspecting the camera that is videoing him as he emerges from his little cave/den. Probably, the more accurate name for this cat is “manul" (this is derived from the Mongolian). You try and check that with the spellchecker and it always comes up "manual".  If you try and dictate it using dictation software you'll never get it right!  Another version is Pallas's cat; perhaps a more popular version. It can be confusing sometimes.

This is a cute looking, stocky, almost fat or rotund fluffy looking cat which you'd think would make a good domestic cat; but no, this is a genuine wild cat species with all the usual wild cat behavioural traits.  Don't think you can ever own a domesticated version of this cat.

In addition to the interesting overall appearance of this cat, another interesting physical characteristic is that the irises of the eyes do not form a slit as is normal in the domestic cat but they close down in bright light in a circular fashion like the iris of a camera lens.  The ears are small and on the side of the head.  The reason for this is to improve camouflage because the ears are less prominent which makes the cat's overall appearance look more like the rocks upon which he/she is clambering. This cat has an unnerving ability to hide even when in plain view.
“It is surprising how much a big animal can render itself instantly invisible…… Even knowing the places where a cat is hiding, it is very difficult to find."  Russian biologist A.A. Sludskii
The ability to become almost invisible against the rocks is a feature that has evolved due to the fact that this cat is not a particularly able runner together with the fact that it lives in sparsely vegetated areas with few places to hide.

This small cat species was discovered in 1776 by the German explorer and naturalist Peter Simon Pallas.

This cat lives in places such as Mongolia and China and overall in Central Asia in uplands, hilly areas and steppes, amongst rocky outcrops as well as semi desert.  Sometimes the cat lives at high altitude at about 4000 m.

If you like to, you can read a lot more about this small wild cat species on this page and see a cute picture of this cat on this page.


  1. I love the look of this cat.
    And, I watched he video of 5 week old Pallas kittens. Even so young, they're very feisty and look to have really sharp teeth. They were darling though.

    1. Sometimes I think this cat should have been domesticated rather than the North African wildcat. It is possibly pure chance that it was not domesticated because the Pallas cat lives in much more remote areas than the African wildcat. All the domestic cats would have been different if the Pallas cat founded the domestic cats.


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