The manul is also referred to as Pallas’s cat and popularly as Pallas cat after the scientist who named the species. This wild cat is the about the size of a domestic cat. Although looking at the photographs you would be forgiven for thinking that this cat is larger. This is because of the thick and dense coat. In fact its weight range is between about 2.5 to about 4.5 kilograms (5.5 to 9.2 pounds). This is a stocky (“cobby” in cat fancy language) rather short legged felid with a slightly quizzical, concerned facial appearance. This cat looks intelligent.
The head is broad. The forehead is low and the face somewhat flattened. The small ears set wide apart on the head are almost lost amongst the dense fur. The eyes are large. The fur is spotted on the forehead and crown, and there are two distinct dark lines sandwiching a white area on each cheek. There are bright white areas of fur bordered by a black line under the eyes. This appearance is called “white spectacles” by cat breeders, incidentally. This cat has a distinct ruff – longer fur on either side of the face. The fur is also longer on the chest and belly.
The photographs nicely show the variations is coat color. The fur can be rusty red but tends towards the “silver buffed”. It has a “grizzled” (salt and pepper ticked) appearance. The fur on the chin is white.
|The cranium is very wide, resembling the sand cat. The muzzle is short in keeping with the flat face. This cat has only 28 teeth (the 1st upper premolar is absent). The normal number is 30.|
Manul description – reference and short quotes: Wild Cats Of The World by Mel and Fiona Sunquist – page 220, ISBN-13: 978-0-226-77999-7