fishing cat

Fishing Cat

Prionailurus viverrinus

See them at the Zoo

Quick Facts
Body  Length:
Body: 25" to 34"; Tail: 12.5"
Males: average of 25 pounds; females: average of 15 pounds
Wild diet: Fish, crustaceans, mollusks, frogs, snakes, birds, and small mammals.
Zoo Diet: Nebraska canine diet, horse meat, horse shank bones, and fish.
Distribution: Asia: Sumatra, Java, Southern China, India, Sri Lanka; this animal has a broad and discontinuous distribution
Habitat: Denely vegetated areas near marshes, mangroves, rivers, and streams


Fishing cats are sexually dimorphic (with two distinct gender forms): males are larger than females. They have a short, coarse coat colored gray with light brown, dark brown, or black spots arranged in horizontal rows. Their head is big and broad with six to eight dark lines running from the forehead over the crown and along the neck. The backs of the short, rounded ears are black with white, central spots. The tail is ringed with black. Their coloration offers excellent camouflage. Their paws are slightly webbed, with claws that do not fully retract. Their tail and legs are relatively short compared to their body length.

Status in the Wild

The degradation and destruction of wetlands and the depletion of fish stocks pose significant threats to their population.

Conservation Programs

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