Gungle cat Felis chaus
The jungle cat is larger than a domestic cat: it ranges from 60 to 90 cm in length, and weighs 8 to 12 kg. The jungle cat has a short body, long legs, and a thin and relatively short tail measuring 1/3 of the length of the body (21-30 cm). The jungle cat does not resemble the wild cats because it has long legs, not so prominent ruffs of fur on the sides of its face, and big, triangular, upright ears with small tufts on the tops. The jungle cats are found in the broad zone of areas, from West and Central Asia to Hindustan, Indochina and Southwest China. This cat is associated with reed swamps, thick brushes, and reed beds surrounding rivers and lakes in the lowlands; it avoids open steppes and deserts. The jungle cats are not adapted well to cold climates, and are not found at high altitudes in mountainous areas; sometimes they live near human settlements. The jungle cats are active primarily at night and twilight, but in cold weather they may hunt in the daytime. The jungle cats are excellent hunters; they hunt by stalking and ambushing their prey, but may wait for the prey to come out of its burrow. This cat feeds on rodents (mice, voles, ground squirrels) and birds (ducks, Eurasian coots, pheasants) living along water reservoirs; sometimes it kills hares, calves of small ungulates, and reptiles (snakes, lizards, turtles) and may attack domestic chickens, ducks, and geese. The jungle cat is a cautious and secretive predator: it prefers to hide in the dense bush during the daytime. It has a very good sense of hearing; jungle cats have been observed hiding in a bush waiting for a flock of birds to fly down onto the reed bed, stacking and then swiftly jumping and grabbing its prey. Jungle cats are good jumpers and strong swimmers; they can climb trees easily though they rarely do so.
Jungle cats are solitary animals except for mating season. Each male has a home range of 45 to 180 km that typically overlaps the range of several females. Family groups consisting of a male, female and their offspring may be seen during breeding season. The female prepares a den in a concealed place. She doesn’t dig a den but uses an abandoned burrow of other animals (badgers, porcupines, foxes) lining it with hairs and dried grass. Gestation in the jungle cat lasts 53–66 days and two to five blind kittens are born. The eyes of the kittens open on the 11th to 12th day and they become completely weaned at around three months. The young jungle cats grow fast and become fully independent at the age of five to six months. Young jungle cats are generally easy to tame and make get used to people. The jungle cats are known to be used for hunting waterfowl by people in ancient Egypt. A jungle cat is depicted bringing its prey to its master in Egyptian painting. The jungle cat is listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation.