Fishing Cats

Day in the Life

Watch a fishing cat as she hunts in the Prague Zoo: Fishing Cat video

Hunting and Diet

Fishing cats are carnivorous. They usually eat fish, but sometimes they will prey on crustaceans, mollusks, frogs, and snakes. Fishing cats will swim and even dive after their prey. Also, fishing cats will tap the water with their paws to mimic insects to attract fish. When a fish comes to explore the movement, the fishing cat scoops it up with its paw. Here is a video of a fishing cat hunting.

Mating and Family Life

Fishing cats are mostly solitary, but there have been reports that sometimes males will help care for their young. Mating occurs in January and February. Fishing cats have a gestation period of 63 days, and females give birth to one to four kittens that weigh between three and a half and six ounces. At about 50 days old, kittens begin to eat meat. They reach adulthood around eight or nine months and are completely independent by ten months.


Fishing cats are nocturnal and live solitary lives. They are territorial animals that avoid human contact or interaction, and they can become aggressive towards humans. However, they have been seen to survive near suburban areas that have wetlands. As enrichment in captivity, fishing cats, like their name, enjoy water, so tubs of water and ponds are intriguing to them. Toys such as pinecones can also be thrown into the water for entertainment. Occasionaly, humans working with captive fishing cats will freeze ice cubes with mice because fishing cats enjoy the opportunity to play with the meat, and they are fascinated by the melting ice.

Additional Resources