Lee Richardson Zoo

Pallas Cat

AKA Manul, Steppe Cat, Pallas’s Cat

Order: Carnivora—felines, canines, bears, raccoons, mustelids, seals, etc.

Family: Felidae—Cats

Scientific Name:  Otocolobus manul


DescriptionBody length measurements range from 20” to 24” (50 to 62 cm) with a tail length of 9” to 12” (23 to 31 cm), weighing between 5 to 11lbs (2.5 and 5.0kg). They are small felines with short legs and long, dense fur. Bushy tail marked with narrow black rings. Two parallel black stripes are marked from eyes to cheeks. Range in color from a gray, less patterned winter coat to more colorful summer coats with silver to orange-red hair. They are similar in size to a domestic house cat but with much thicker fur. Unlike other small cats, the pupils of the Pallas’ cat are round instead of the typical vertical slits


Home Range:  Central Asia. Most abundant in Mongolia and the Tibetan Plateau.


Habitat Type:  High altitude steppe and semi-desert areas with rock outcrops.


Reproduction:  Create birthing dens in rock crevices. Mating occurs primarily in February and March, gestation occurs after 66-75 days with a litter of 4-6 kittens born in April or May.


Diet in the Wild:  Small rodents and prey animals, primarily pikas, gerbils, voles, hamsters, ground squirrels, hares, sandgrouses, and partridges.


Diet in the Zoo:  Science Diet Adult Light Cat Food (dry), Zupreem Feline Diet (canned), Fish – Smelt, Hard Boiled Egg White (2per week 33g).


General Information:  Pallas cats will typically hunt their prey by stalking and ambushing. They will hide behind rocks and pounce when their prey gets close enough. Foxes, wolves, dogs, and large birds of prey threaten the Pallas cat with predation. Due to the high level of predation, Pallas cats will spend most of their time in their dens. They are very poor runners and rely heavily on escaping into rock crevices for survival. The Pallas cat will overtake marmot burrows for their own use to provide and make dens for birthing and cover from predators.


Caithness, N. 2013. "Felis manul" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Felis_manul/, 22 February 2016 Ross, S., Barashkova, Y., Farhadinia, mf, Appel, A., Riordan, P., Sanderson, J. & Munkhtsog, B. 2015. Otocolobus manul. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015:. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T15640A50657610.en. 22 February 2016. Lever, C. (2010), Handbook of the Mammals of the World: Vol. 1: Carnivores. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 160: 827–828.