Pallas’s Cat

Pallas Cat

Lifestyle

Pallas’s cats are usually nocturnal but may come out during the day to hunt their favorite food, the rabbit-like pika. They move around on their own in a territory that spans 2 to 3 miles. They den in caves, crevices and burrows made by other animals. The Pallas’s cats’ long, dense fur provides insulation against their snowy environment. They’re fluffy all over, even on their ears, which are small to reduce the risk of frostbite.

Food

Pallas’s cat eats small mammals such as rodents and pikas, and ground-dwelling birds.

Life Cycle

The Pallas’s cat can usually lives to be 8 to 10 years old. Females give birth in late spring to litters of up to six young. In 4 to 6 months, the kittens are mature. Females are ready to be mothers at 1 year of age but little is known about the cats’ mating behavior.

Some of My Neighbors

Gazelles, marmots, gray wolves, saiga antelope, steppe eagles, maral deer, desert dormouse, marbled polecat, Marco Polo sheep, great bustard, squirrels

Population Status & Threats

In the 1900s, fur traders hunted Pallas’s cats for their fluffy coats. Eventually, laws were made to protect the cats. The hunt for their fur has slowed but still goes on, threatening the Pallas’s cat’s survival. Efforts to poison pikas to control their population also puts pressure on the cats. Although the cats can be spotted in many places, they are not considered to be common anywhere.

WCS Conservation Efforts

WCS is working with government officials and scientists in Central Asia to eventually create an International Peace Park that would protect animals in the region, especially the endangered Marco Polo sheep. Conservationists are also studying the eagles and vultures there to learn the best conservation strategies for them.