The Fishing Cat

A recent conversation brought up the subject of one of my favorite animals—and one of the more remarkable examples of evolution: the Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus). The Fishing Cat is just that—a cat that subsists on fish, and that swims naturally. In fact, the Fishing Cat actually has webbed paws.

They’re a little bigger than a bobcat, about three and a half feet long (including tail), and are native to southeast Asia, where they live beside rivers, hunting for fish. They don’t just scoop the fish out with their paws; they swim and dive under the water to catch fish. There are several zoos that have Fishing Cats, including the National Zoo in Washington; you can watch a video of Fishing Cats hunting at their website. Personally, I’m fond of the cats at the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound in Rosamond, California; they have some adorable pictures of Fishing Kittens on their website.