Pallas's cat

Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul), also known as the manul, is a small wild cat species native to Central Asia and parts of Russia. Here’s a description of the Pallas’s cat and its distribution:

Description of Pallas’s Cat:

  • Appearance: Pallas’s cats have a unique appearance characterized by their stocky build, short legs, broad head, and distinctive facial features. They have dense, fluffy fur that helps them stay warm in their cold, arid habitat. Their fur is usually pale gray or buff-colored with dark spots and stripes, providing effective camouflage in their rocky surroundings. They have large, round pupils and short, rounded ears.
  • Size: Adult Pallas’s cats typically measure around 46 to 65 centimeters (18 to 26 inches) in length, excluding the tail, which can add an additional 21 to 31 centimeters (8.3 to 12.2 inches). They weigh between 2.5 to 4.5 kilograms (5.5 to 9.9 pounds), with males being slightly larger than females.
  • Behavior: Pallas’s cats are solitary and elusive animals that are rarely seen in the wild. They are primarily nocturnal and crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk. Pallas’s cats are ambush predators and use stealth and camouflage to hunt small mammals, birds, and insects.
  • Habitat: Pallas’s cats inhabit a variety of arid and mountainous habitats, including steppes, grasslands, deserts, and rocky outcrops. They are well-adapted to extreme temperatures and harsh environments, with thick fur to protect them from cold and heat. Pallas’s cats are typically found at elevations ranging from sea level to 4,000 meters (13,000 feet).
  • Diet: Pallas’s cats are carnivores and primarily feed on small rodents such as pikas, voles, and gerbils. They also prey on birds, insects, and occasionally small reptiles. Pallas’s cats are skilled hunters and use their keen senses and agility to catch prey in their rocky habitat.
  • Reproduction: Breeding in Pallas’s cats typically occurs in late winter or early spring, with females giving birth to a litter of one to six kittens after a gestation period of around 66 to 75 days. The kittens are born blind and helpless and are cared for by their mother until they are old enough to hunt on their own.
  • Conservation Status: Pallas’s cats are currently classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They face threats such as habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict. Conservation efforts, including habitat protection and community education programs, are essential for ensuring the long-term survival of this species.


  • Pallas’s cats are found in Central Asia, including countries such as Mongolia, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan.
  • Within their range, Pallas’s cats inhabit a variety of arid and mountainous habitats, from the deserts of Mongolia to the rocky slopes of the Himalayas.
  • They are typically found in remote and sparsely populated areas, making them difficult to study and monitor in the wild.

Pallas’s cats are unique and fascinating creatures that are well-adapted to their harsh and rugged environment. Efforts to conserve their habitat and protect them from threats are crucial for their continued survival in the wild.

Pallas's cat in Zoos

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