Similar in size to a housecat, the Pallas’ cat (Octocolobus manuli) s a predator specialized to live in the mountainous regions of central Asia. Its preferred prey is the pika, a small rabbit-like rodent. While not an adept runner, the Pallas’ cat is an expert ambush predator. Once it spots a pika, the cat creeps up slowly, masking its approach by hiding behind whatever vegetative cover is available. A flat forehead and low ears allow the cat to peek over bushes and rocks without exposing much of itself to the unwary prey. At just the right moment, the Pallas' cat pounces.
- Length: 1.5 to 2 ft
- Weight: 6.5 to 11 lbs
- Lifespan: 8 to 10 yrs in wild
- Habitat: Mountain regions, including grassland, woodland, and semi-desert
- Range: Central Asia
- Diet: Pikas, hares, and small rodents such as gerbils, voles, and young marmots
- Risk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Lower risk/near threatened )