Four Orphaned "Kittens" Found in Farmer's Barn Turn Out to Be Elusive Wildcats

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A Russian farmer stumbled upon a squirming, mewling bundle of fluff hidden in his barn: four unusual-looking kittens, so young they hadn’t even opened their eyes. When their mother didn’t come back, the farmer took the kittens in; they wouldn’t survive much longer on their own.

 

meowing kitten

Upon closer inspection of the tiny, spotted balls of fluff, the farmer realized they were not ordinary house cats. He reached out to the Daursky Nature Reserve for help. Their team identified that the strange-looking kittens as Pallas’s cats also called Manuls (maybe “The Ewoks of the Cat Family” should be added to the list). 

manul ewok pallas rare cat

Pallas’s cats (or simplified as Pallas cats) are elusive wildcats native to Central Asia, sometimes referred to as "small ghost cats of the mountains.” They’re about the size of your average domestic cat, but they’ve got one of the most expressive faces in the animal world. They’re also extremely rotund.

“I’m not fat. It’s just fluff!” 

grumpy cat manul cat ewok

 

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Back at the Daursky Nature Reserve, the four orphaned wildcats were placed with two domestic cats, who quickly adopted them as their own. These furry surrogate moms helped to socialize the wildcats while also teaching them the essentials of “how to cat.”

 surrogate moms cats and kittens

It’d be difficult not to get attached to kittens as expressive and comical as Pallas Cats.

 

crazy cats funny cat memes

 

But the wildcats’ caregivers knew the importance of releasing the cats to their natural habitat. When the four healthy Pallas cats came of age, their caregivers returned them to their natural home where they continue to successfully survive and thrive.

 

expressive cats weird cats

 

Pallas cats are listed as “near threatened,” with a declining population due to habitat loss, being hunted for their pelts (despite hunting and fur-trade bans), and the mass poisoning of their main prey source, pikas, small rodents that are considered pests. 

 

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Supporters of the Pallas cat have started international campaigns to study the ecology of this notoriously elusive feline” in hopes that they can find ways to stabilize the declining population before it’s too late for these comically gorgeous creatures.

 

 

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 [h/t Life With Cats]

1 comment


  • Maureen

    Beautiful kittens! I hope they continue to thrive and stay safe!


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