Have you ever wondered about the wilder counterparts of your beloved tabby? We’re all familiar with lions and tigers, or even the exotic lynx, but what about even more unusual relatives? One such critter is the Pallas’s cat, also known as the manul.
The Pallas’s cat is about the size of an average household cat.
It has shorter legs and ears, and coarser fur.
Most manuls’ fur is grey in colour with a speckling of white throughout.
Interestingly, though they are wild animals, manuls have much shorter claws than a domesticated cat would.
Most wild manuls are found in remote areas of China, Russia and Mongolia.
They live at high elevations in very cold and dry conditions.
It’s unknown exactly how many manuls exist in the wild because they are notoriously reclusive and difficult to track.
It is classified as a near-threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
One reason that manuls are not as numerous as other felines is that for many years people hunted them for their fur.
Although most countries outlawed this in the 1980s, poaching of manuls still occurs.
Another reason is that manul kittens are highly vulnerable to a parasite called toxoplasmosis, which kills many before they reach adulthood.
There are approximately 50-60 manuls living in zoos.
If you’re wondering if Pallas’s cats make good pets, the answer is no (as cute as they may look).
Manuls are not particularly sociable and do not enjoy being around people.
They are best left to zoos or their natural habitats.
You can watch a video of the Pallas’s cat.
Hopefully, the mysterious manul isn’t so mysterious any more! Share this amazing creature with others below.