Showing posts with label fishing cat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fishing cat. Show all posts

Thursday 18 April 2024

Are fisher cats the same as fishing cats?

No, fisher cats are not even cats. The fishing cat is a small wild cat species that spends a lot of time near water courses and takes aquatic prey animals as well as non-aquatic prey animals.

Below are some details regarding these entirely different species with similar names 😊😎

Image: MikeB. I have presumed that the images are now in the public domain. Wrong? Tell me in a comment please.

Fisher cat

Here are 10 points about the fisher (Pekania pennanti):

Carnivorous Mammal:

  • The fisher is a carnivorous mammal native to North America.
  • It dwells in forested areas, covering much of the boreal forest in Canada and parts of the northern United States.
Not a Cat:
  • Despite the name “fisher cat,” it is not a cat. It belongs to the mustelid family.
  • The fisher is closely related to the American marten and Pacific marten.

    Monospecific Genus:

    • The fisher is the sole species in the genus Pekania.
    • It is sometimes called a pekan or wejack in various Native American languages.

      Predators and Fur Trade:

      • Fishers have few natural predators besides humans.
      • They were extensively trapped for their fur, leading to their extirpation from parts of the United States in the early 20th century.

        Fur and Appearance:

        • Male and female fishers look similar, but males are up to twice as large.
        • Their fur varies seasonally, denser and glossier in winter, and more mottled during summer molting.

          Hunting Behavior:

          • Fishers prefer hunting in dense forests.
          • They are agile climbers but spend most of their time on the forest floor.

            Scavengers and Encroachment:

            • While fishers usually avoid human contact, encroachment into forest habitats has led to conflicts.
            • They may scavenge dead animals, especially when hungry.

              Historical Decline and Recovery:

              • High pelt prices in the 1920s led to unsuccessful attempts at fisher farming.
              • Conservation efforts have allowed the species to rebound, but their range remains reduced from historical limits.

                Barbed Tongue and Adaptability:

                • Fishers are skilled climbers and excellent swimmers.
                • Their barbed tongue aids in catching prey.

                  Resilient and Adaptable:

                  • The fisher is a resilient and adaptable species, capable of being both a nuisance and a pest controller in various ecosystems.

                  Fishing cat

                  Here are 10 points about the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus):

                  Medium-Sized Wild Cat:

                  • The fishing cat is a medium-sized wild cat native to South and Southeast Asia.
                  • It dwells in wetland areas, including rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, swamps, and mangroves.

                    Distinct Appearance:

                    • Fishing cats have deep yellowish-grey fur adorned with black lines and spots.
                    • They are about twice the size of domestic cats, with a stocky and muscular build.

                      Size and Weight:

                      • Adults have a head-to-body length ranging from 57 to 78 cm (22 to 31 inches).
                      • Their tails measure 20 to 30 cm (7.9 to 11.8 inches).
                      • Males are larger, weighing 8 to 17 kg (18 to 37 lb), while females average 5 to 9 kg (11 to 20 lb).

                          Vulnerable Status:

                          • Since 2016, the fishing cat is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
                          • Populations have declined severely due to wetland destruction.

                            Nocturnal Behavior:

                            • Fishing cats are primarily nocturnal, active during the night.
                            • They are skilled swimmers and can cover long distances underwater.

                            Diet and Prey:

                            • Their main prey is fish, which they catch by diving into water.
                            • They also consume birds, insects, small rodents, mollusks, reptiles (including snakes), and carrion.

                            State Animal of West Bengal:

                            • In India, the fishing cat holds the honor of being the state animal of West Bengal.

                            Threats and Conservation:

                            • Destruction of wetlands poses a significant threat to fishing cat populations.
                            • Conservation efforts aim to protect their habitats and raise awareness.

                            Civet-Like Appearance:

                            • The scientific name Prionailurus viverrinus reflects its viverrine or civet-like appearance.

                            Unique Adaptations:

                            • Fishing cats are excellent swimmers, allowing them to thrive in their wetland habitats.
                            • Their specialized hunting skills make them fascinating and vital members of their ecosystem.

                            Remember, the fishing cat’s aquatic lifestyle sets it apart from other wild cats! 🐾🎣

                            P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

                            Thursday 1 July 2021

                            Why do kittens throw toys in the air over their shoulder?

                            This is an instinctive fishing action by a kitten who knows how to do it even if they weren't taught by their mother. It is not a kitten trying to create a bird flying through the air which they then catch and bring to the ground. In a study, it was found that kittens learn to catch fish from ponds at about seven weeks into their life. If they were taught to do it by their mother, they did it at five weeks-of-age. They learn faster when taught by their mother but it is still in their DNA to hunt like this.

                            CLICK FOR MANY ARTICLES ON CAT PLAY

                            Why do kittens throw toys in the air over their shoulder?
                            Why do kittens throw toys in the air over their shoulder? To replicate fish hunting. Image: Pixabay.

                            There are three primary animals that cats hunt namely mice, fish and birds. Of course, they also catch insects quite often and other prey animals such as reptiles and amphibians. It is the hunting action when catching fish which is replicated in this kitten play behaviour.

                            They scoop the fish out of the water with their sharp claws and throw it over the shoulder onto the ground behind them. They turn, pounce and kill the fish with a bite. I would expect them to eat the fish while it is still alive.

                            Catching birds is a different process. They stalk and pounce but often the bird takes off. The cat has to leap up and grab the bird in their claws. If successful, they bring it to the ground and then kill the bird with a nape of the neck bite or a suffocation bite.

                            As for mice, often cats wait incredibly patiently by a mouse den. When the mouse emerges they pounce and kill with a bite. They immobilise the mouse with their front paws. This is essentially a stalk and pounce process again but a variation on the bird hunting technique.

                            Of these three techniques the kitten throwing a toy into the air most accurately replicates the fishing technique. Kittens will do this over and over again and pounce on the toy at the end.

                            Some people think that when kittens do this they are trying to make a bird fly. This appears to be a misconception because very rarely do cat owners see their cat hunting fish but it is commonplace to see them hunt mice and birds if they are allowed outside.

                            Tuesday 29 September 2020

                            You cannot say that all cats hate water!

                            I have to confess that I have become a little bit frustrated and perhaps irritated by a large number of articles on the Internet which state with complete confidence that cats hate water. They are generalising about all cats. You can't generalise like that. You have to drill down and analyse the situation in far more detail.

                            The originan Van kittens swimming. Please click this link to read about the real Turkish Van

                            Firstly, you have to decide whether you are referring to cats walking outside in the rain and getting wet or whether you are describing bathing a cat or a cat falling into a bath or pond. When a cat, and I'm referring to a domestic cat in this instance, is submerged in water they will in general dislike it. You can pretty well bank on that. But it depends upon the individual cat as to how much they dislike it. Some may hate it and some may simply put up with it while others will love being in the bath.


                            However, you have to compare that situation with being out in the rain. We know that in the UK 99% of cats go outside whenever they like through a cat flap. They might go out in the rain. My cat actually goes out when it's raining sometimes. Clearly the rain does not perturb him. Or he is caught in a downpour and comes in soaking wet. It doesn't worry him particularly. Therefore this is, at least, one cat who does not hate water. He just doesn't mind getting wet.

                            So among the domestic, random bred cats you will find individual cats who might even like water and those who are ambivalent about it and those who dislike it or even hate it. There is a full spectrum of personalities which affects how they relate to getting wet.

                            Turkish Van

                            Then you have the cat breeds. There is quite a lot of talk about the Turkish Van swimming in water and liking it. This is a bit of a myth (see picture and link above). All the current Turkish Van cats in Turkey are random bred cats and they will behave just like random bred cats in America or the UK or anywhere else when it comes to getting wet. The person who started the Turkish Van breed was an English lady and she was driving home from Turkey with some cats and they went for a swim in a lake. This does not mean that all Turkish Van cats like to swim in ponds or lakes.

                            Maine Coon

                            I read somewhere that the Maine Coon cat likes to swim as well. This is a myth if you've heard it. In general, purebred cats will be no different to random bread cats in this respect.

                            The wildcat hybrids are much more likely to like or accept getting wet. Photo: in public domain.

                            Wild cat hybrids

                            You have to mention the wild cat hybrids. These cats such as the Savannah and Bengal have serval and Asiatic leopard cat DNA in them respectively to varying degrees depending on their filial. This affects their character and their relationship with water. Both the higher filial variants of these breeds are much more amenable to getting wet and even going into showers than the average random bread or purebred cat. 

                            This is because the serval and the Asiatic leopard cat live in wetter landscapes. The serval lives in and around watercourses and the Asiatic leopard cat lives in rainforests. They are habituated to wetter landscapes and climates. This has been brought forward in their DNA as a form of memory which has been embedded into the characteristics of these two wild cat hybrid domestic cats. That's why they accept or even like water.

                            Wild Cats

                            And then if you're talking about cats in general you must talk about the wild cat species. The tiger loves water and spends a lot of time in it. They are great swimmers and can swim in the open sea for miles. The jaguar in South America loves water and spends time in it as well. The small wild cat species, the fishing cat, spends most of its time in and around watercourses where it, yes, fishes. 

                            There are other the small cat species such as the flat-headed cat which also spends a lot of time on river banks near water. The Geoffroys' cat dives into water to hunt so once again a small wild cat looking much like the domestic cat likes water. All these species actively get into the water and therefore don't mind being wet. You can never say that "all cats hate water". Please don't do it! Rant over.

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