The flat-headed cat is a very small species (type) of wild cat living in Southeast Asia. It likes water as much as the fishing cat and is built to catch food in water. It is a strange looking cat with a flat forehead, a long face and a short tail. It weighs between about 3 and 5 pounds (1.5 to 2.2 kilograms). It is smaller than an average domestic cat.
What It Looks Like
The nice picture on this page really tells you almost all you need to know about how this cat looks. The ears are small. The face has bright markings. The body is covered with a soft, thick fur that has a salt and pepper look. Like the cheetah and the fishing cat its claws cannot be pulled up out of the way (retract) as much as usual. The eyes are closer together and farther forward than normal. This gives this cat better eyesight for judging distances. All the teeth are pointed. The teeth are made to catch animals that are slippery. For example, fish and other animals that live in and out of water (amphibians).
Where This Cat Lives
The picture once again shows you what you need to know. This countries where it lives are Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. But it only lives in parts of these countries. The island of Borneo is divided between Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. It used to live in Thailand as well. The best information that I have tells me it is no longer in that country. Thailand is just above (to the north) of Malaysia.
We don’t know much about this cat except from watching it in zoos. It is known that they love water. And also, as I said at the top of the page, the flat-headed cat is built to hunt in water and catch fish and other animals that live in and around water. For that reason we can say that the cat lives near water on river banks and places like that. These are called “wetlands”. It probably lives in the same sort of places as the fishing cat.
As well and eating fish and frogs, it also feeds on rats and mice. It kills them by biting the neck just under the head (“nape” of the neck). When this cat catches fish it will place the fish far enough from the water so that it can’t get back in.
This cat makes sounds like the domestic cat such as purring. However, some of the sounds are different. Kittens make a sound as if a thumb is being dragged along a comb.
Dangers To This Cat
Every year there are less flat-headed cats in the world. This is because they are prevented from living by people who drain wetlands and live and farm in the area. Also people change forests into farms by chopping down trees. Also the animals that the flat-headed feeds on are also hunted by people. This leaves less food for the cat. This also prevents the cat from living in these areas. As there are more and more people the situation becomes worse and worse for this rare cat. It is “endangered”. This means that this cat may fairly soon no longer be living in these wild places (“extinct”). They are very rare in zoos.
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