Table of contents:

Sumatran Cat: Description Of The Species, Nature And Habits, Habitat, Photo
Sumatran Cat: Description Of The Species, Nature And Habits, Habitat, Photo

Video: Sumatran Cat: Description Of The Species, Nature And Habits, Habitat, Photo

Video: SUMATRAN TIGER: the Rare and the little tiger is endemic to Sumatra | Facts about tigers 2022, December
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Sumatran cat: adorable animal from the forests of Indonesia

Sumatran cat head on black background
Sumatran cat head on black background

Among the Asian representatives of the cat family, a species stands out, distinguished by its small size and neat physique. And the slightly sad look of bottomless eyes makes these wild purrs touching and charming. Miniature ears and graceful paws combined with a thick caramel-colored fur coat, graceful gait with a measured wiggle of a fluffy tail - all this is about her, about the Sumatran cat.

Content

  • 1 What does a Sumatran cat look like

    1.1 Photo Gallery: Mysterious Cats of Sumatra

  • 2 Where and how does the Sumatran cat live

    • 2.1 Habitats
    • 2.2 Behavioral features
    • 2.3 Procreation
    • 2.4 Video: flat-headed cat from the island of Borneo
  • 3 Keeping a Sumatran cat

    • 3.1 Character in bondage
    • 3.2 Content specifics
    • 3.3 Feeding

What does a Sumatran cat look like?

Wild purrs from the island of Sumatra, which gave the name to the whole species, are listed in the Red Book and are protected by international organizations from extermination.

Sumatran cat sits on a white background and growls
Sumatran cat sits on a white background and growls

Sumatran cats are non-standard representatives of their family

The latter threatens seals because of their attractive appearance and medium-sized size, allowing them to keep animals even in city apartments.

So what is so special about the Sumatran cat? The first thing that catches your eye is the expressive face of a forest cat. A wide, large nose with a dark spot passes into a long narrow bridge of the nose. Well, the bottomless gaze makes the animal look like the loris monkeys living in the neighborhood.

In addition, the Sumatran cat's head has unusual proportions - the skull is flattened on the back of the head, which is why zoologists call the species “flat-headed”. The picture is complemented by neat little ears, constantly in motion and tracking alarm signals. What is noteworthy is that the auricles are located lower than in other felines, which additionally distinguishes the Sumatrans among their relatives.

Other features of the appearance of the purr from the island of Sumatra can be considered:

  • small size of the body (no more than 75 cm with the tail, almost like domestic cats);
  • low weight (up to 2.5–3 kg in females and up to 4–4.5 kg in males);
  • powerful jaws with large pointed teeth (it is more convenient to cut fish this way);
  • soft dense fur without undercoat;
  • short narrow legs (hind legs are longer than front ones).

These stocky cats are dexterous fishermen, which was made possible by the special arrangement of the animals' paws. Between the toes, Sumatran cats have thin but resilient membranes that provide excellent swimming ability and the ability to do long swims in search of food.

If we talk about the color of the Sumatran cat, then everything is quite simple here. The main part of the body is painted in a thick brick-brown color, and the head is in lighter shades of brown with a red tint. The belly and breast are white, and there are chaotically scattered specks of dark chocolate on the sides. There are decorations on the face - two black stripes on each cheek. The tail, although small (up to 16 cm), is fluffy and colored to match the body.

Photo Gallery: Mysterious Cats of Sumatra

Sumatran cat sits on a tree trunk and looks forward
Sumatran cat sits on a tree trunk and looks forward

Sumatran cats avoid human encounters

Sumatran cat sits on a black background with a muzzle to the viewer
Sumatran cat sits on a black background with a muzzle to the viewer

Sumatran cats have an expressive appearance

The Sumatran cat lies on the ground with its front paws tucked to its stomach
The Sumatran cat lies on the ground with its front paws tucked to its stomach

Sumatran cats - nocturnal animals

Sumatran cat walks along the trail, looking up
Sumatran cat walks along the trail, looking up

Sumatran cats are brave hunters

Sumatran cat sits with half open eyes
Sumatran cat sits with half open eyes

Sumatran cat is a rare and unusual creature

Where and how does the Sumatran cat live?

In the wild, you rarely meet a purr with a flattened head - the animals are distinguished by their secrecy and small numbers. So much so that since 1985 the species has been considered extinct. Until in 1995, in the rice fields of Malaysia, peasants noticed this rare cat.

Sumatran cat sitting on a tree at night
Sumatran cat sitting on a tree at night

Sumatran cats are nocturnal predators

Since that time, Sumatran cats have been listed in the Red Book as an endangered species, and they have been actively studying the life of the mysterious cat.

Habitat

Nowadays, Sumatran cats have chosen the vastness of not only Sumatra, but also neighboring lands - Borneo (Kalimantana), Sulawesi. These pussies are also found in Thailand, Malaysia and on small islands throughout Indonesia.

Physical map of Indonesia
Physical map of Indonesia

Sumatran cats live on most of the islands of Indonesia

Flat-headed seals choose lowlands along rivers and streams as a territory of residence, occasionally settling in lowland forests and on palm plantations.

Sumatran cat stands on the river bank at night
Sumatran cat stands on the river bank at night

Sumatran cats hunt at night along rivers and lakes

Since the main food of the Sumatran from time immemorial has been fish and amphibians (frogs, newts), this animal never moves further than 3 km from water bodies. Purrs make their refuge among mangroves and swampy floodplains.

Behavioral features

Sumatran cats are born predators, however, unlike other brethren, they prefer to get food in water bodies, rather than on land. Although the rat catchers of these animals also come out excellent. And in times of famine, the sumatrans will not give up on sweet fruits or roots. If the cat settles not far from human habitation, it will regularly visit the farm to eat chickens and mice.

Sumatran cat comes out of the bushes
Sumatran cat comes out of the bushes

Sumatrans are very clean cats

The main condition for eating the obtained food is the purity of the latter. Therefore, before "lunch" flat-headed cats thoroughly rinse "food" in running water. Just like the striped raccoon does.

Fallen trees and clusters of branches, abandoned hollows and burrows of other animals act as a lair for these animals. During the day, kotofei sleep in the "nest", and at nightfall they go hunting and fishing.

Sumatran cats catch fish, standing in the water and tracking their prey. When a suitable specimen appears, the animal quickly plunges into the water with its head, pressing its ears tightly, and then grabs the victim with its front paws.

The catch of the Sumatran will never eat right on the shore. These secretive cats will better go deeper into the thickets (at least two meters) and will eat away from prying eyes.

Other specific behavioral traits of flat-headed cats include:

  • solitary lifestyle;
  • leaving specific marks along the border of the possession (the so-called urinary stripes);
  • avoidance of direct conflict in case of danger (they tend to run away, not engage in battle).

As for the lifespan of Sumatra cats, zoologists have very little information about this. It is known that in captivity (that is, in the most comfortable conditions), such animals live no more than 14 years. It turns out that in the wild, the lifespan of fluffies is even less.

Procreation

Since Sumatran cats live a relatively short life, they begin to reproduce quite early. Sexual maturation in females occurs at 10 months of age, in males a month or two later.

A pregnant Sumatran cat walks the trail
A pregnant Sumatran cat walks the trail

Sumatran cats grow up early and have offspring

This feature is associated with the issues of survival in the wild, since animals strive to start procreation as early as possible in the name of preserving the species integrity. That is, at the level of instincts, Sumatrans protect the size of the population through the early onset of sexual activity.

Males start mating games with the onset of March and inform females about entering the competition with specific sounds resembling a rattle. After the winning cat completes the task of procreation, the pregnant cat begins to search for and arrange a den for future offspring.

Pregnancy in flat-headed cats lasts no more than 60 days, one or two kittens are born in the litter. In rare cases, the number of cubs in one birth reaches three or four.

The female brings up the babies on her own, and by the age of 5–6 months, the young begin to hunt. Well, from the tenth month, young tailed Sumatrans begin an independent life and search for new territories for hunting.

Video: flat-headed cat from the island of Borneo

Keeping a Sumatran cat

Since flat-headed cats belong to the Red Book animals, it is prohibited to have them as pets and entails criminal liability.

Sumatran cat stands on a cliff in a mangrove at night
Sumatran cat stands on a cliff in a mangrove at night

Sumatran cats are prohibited from keeping anywhere other than reserves and zoos

Thus, when it comes to keeping a Sumatran cat in captivity, we mean the animal's residence in a zoo or in a protected area.

Character in bondage

Flat-headed cats lead a secretive lifestyle, being active mainly in the dark. Living outside the zoo does not in the least change the daily routine of these animals.

Sumatran cat head looking up
Sumatran cat head looking up

Sumatran cats rarely breed in captivity

At the same time, due to the environment of the Sumatran cat with maximum comfort, the latter often loses its reproductive instinct. Therefore, not every individual is capable of producing offspring, spending days in a protected area.

Sumatrans do not like to communicate with a person, at the first opportunity trying to hide in a den or bush. Even on the territory of the reserve, it can be difficult for zoologists to keep track of the movements of this mysterious animal.

If the flat-headed cat cannot escape from the collision, the predator becomes aggressive and begins to defend itself with the help of claws and fangs. However, this behavior is typical for any wild animal when meeting with a dangerous rival.

Scientists try not to tame and train Sumatran cats, so as not to harm the health and life expectancy of these rare purrs. In every animal sanctuary, conditions are created that are close to natural. And zoologists prefer not to interfere in the life of the moor without special need.

Content specifics

In order to keep the Sumatran cats interested in life, they choose untouched territories within protected areas for them. In such oases there are many fallen trees and dense bushes, streams and swamps.

Sumatran cat sits on a concrete well under a tree
Sumatran cat sits on a concrete well under a tree

There should always be a reservoir near the place of residence of the Sumatran

Lakes are generally the main condition for flat-headed cats to live in the protected area. Even the smallest zoo, accepting such a purr in its possession, is obliged to provide the animal with a pond or stream. Otherwise, the animal simply will not be able to hunt and will starve despite the presence of land prey. And fishing skills will be forgotten by a fluffy.

Keeping a Sumatran cat at home is out of the question also because non-specialists will not be able to recreate the necessary living conditions for this animal in captivity. And without vital loopholes and holes, trees and swamps, the animal will simply wither and die. After all, it was urbanization and the destruction of mangrove forests, beloved by flat-headed catfishes, that led to the entry of the animal into the Red Book.

Feeding

The diet of a Sumatran cat living in a protected area should be the same as in its natural environment. Live freshwater fish remains an obligatory dish, which the small predator must catch from the water himself.

Sumatran cat walks on the concrete floor of the zoo
Sumatran cat walks on the concrete floor of the zoo

Sumatran cats are very sensitive to environmental changes

In addition to the main menu, there are crustaceans (including shrimp), lizards and freshwater (mostly frogs). In order for the animal to eat in a balanced manner, the Sumatran cat is occasionally (not more than once a week) fed with fresh bird eggs, raw meat and vegetables.

In addition, mice and other small rodents are regularly allowed into the aviary to the predator. As an experiment, sparrows and other small birds are left in the cages. However, studies show that Sumatrans are better at catching frogs in the water than they are on a bird sitting in a cage.

The rare and mysterious Sumatran cat is a non-standard and exotic animal from the mangrove forests of island Indonesia. This animal can only be observed in zoos and reserves, since human activity has a detrimental effect on the number of such cute animals. You should forget about keeping such purrs at home, because catching, transporting and selling flat-headed cats is strictly punishable by law.

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