Wonderful footage of wild Pallas’s cats

We have yet more wildcat conservation today.

Terry Townshend is a birder who lives and works in Beijing and, on his site Birding Beijingdocuments the avifauna around China’s capital.  But alert reader Ben W. told me that Terry had also come across a very rare felid, Pallas’s Cat (Ocotolobus manul, also known as the “manul”), on a trip to China’s Qinghai Province near the Tibetan Plateau.

Manuls are threatened despite their wide range (below), and rarely seen in the wild. But if you’ve ever seen one, as I did in the Sacramento Zoo, you’ll never forget it. They are a strong contender for the World’s Cutest Animal (see here), and are certainly the world’s most adorable wild felid.

Terry documents the encounter in a post called Pallas’s Cat, which you mustn’t miss.  He and his partner, Marie Ng, came across two Pallas’s Cat kittens cavorting outside their den, and watched them for 40 minutes. Eventually the mother showed up with dinner (a pika), and they all repaired to the den to dine.

Terry documented his encounter, distilling the video into five minutes of highlights that show the kittens and Mom returning with noms (a kitten grabs the pika). It’s absolutely spectacular footage, and you can see it the video here. It’s a must for all ailurophiles. Be sure to put it on full screen, don’t miss the close-ups near the end, and maybe leave a note of appreciation on Terry’s site.

Here’s a photo of a manul kitten taken by Marie Ng, reproduced with permission:

pallas%27s cat2 marie

Their range (from Wikipedia). They are cold-climate animals, accounting for their long fur, huge paws, and short ears.



  1. rickflick
    Posted August 14, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    The proportions of this cat make it resemble a kitten. Neotenous. The black end of the tail is a bit raccoony. Definitely cute.

  2. W.Benson
    Posted August 14, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    In Pallas’s cat, the laterally extended ears may help avoid sticking up conspicuously in the low alpine/steppe? grass. Allen’s rule may also apply. In the last frame of the video, the cat is amazingly camouflaged. Nice video.

  3. Posted August 14, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    pallas cats need to be used in more memes that indicate disgust. I love their expression.

  4. Posted August 14, 2016 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Adorable, adorable, adorable…. I can’t stand it!

  5. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted August 15, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Weren’t the manauls / Pallas’ Cats fingered a few months ago as an alternative domestication for what has now become the domestic cat?
    Those catlings are perfectly well aware of being watched from the photographer’s position (no hide, or something to the viewer’s left from the hide?). They just don’t give a tail’s twitch about being watched.

%d bloggers like this: