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Water-Loving Cats

Updated on December 1, 2009

Water-Loving Cats


Cats are famous for their aversion to water. But the fishing cat, a wild species found across Asia and Indonesia, doesn't mind getting wet In fact, these spotted, stocky felines, which are about twice as large as typical house cats, prefer to be close to the water, making their homes near rivers, streams and marshes.

As their name indicates, the cats fish for their meals, sitting by the water and tapping their paws to create ripples on the surface that resemble insect movements to lure their prey Fishing cats use their webbed front paws to scoop small grub, including /fish, frogs and snails, out of the water, but they will also dive right in to grab large fish and birds in their jaws. Once in the water, the cats can wade, swim at the surface, or even glide underwater. Their short, flat tails serve as rudders.

Unfortunately, habitat loss and over fishing have decreased these cats' numbers by possibly 50 percent over the past three generations. Last October, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature changed their status to "endangered” from the less-severe "vulnerable:'


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