Today we have a wild kitty known as the Pallas’s cat (suggested by Guest Doodlewasher Ros Jenke). Named after German naturalist Peter Pallas, it was first called a Felis manul and it’s scientific name is Otocolobus, which comes from the Greek and can be translated as the somewhat insulting term of “ugly-eared.” These creatures are wildcats and built to look larger than they actually are, due to their unusually fluffy and dense fur (the longest and densest of any cat species). But in reality, their bodies are about the size as a domestic cat.

The pupils of their eyes contract into circles rather than vertical slits like other cats. This combined with their flat face, gives them a variety of unique and sometimes comical expressions. They prefer to live at high elevations and can be found throughout central Asia, from western Iran to western China. A Pallas’s Cat will scent mark a territory for up to three miles to keep other cats away from them. So, yeah, they’re pretty much loners and don’t like to mingle much.  It helps that the breeding period is only 26 to 42 hours so they can simply have a quick little mating session and return to their solitary lifestyle.

When excited, they sort of yelp or growl like a tiny dog, although they can also make a more traditional purring sound. The fluffy and compact body of Pallas’s cats make them terribly poor runners, so when faced with adversity, they will simply run into a small crevasse in some rocks and hide. For hunting, they like to ambush their prey, which includes mainly pikas, small rodents, birds and if they get really desperate, even insects. If you have an idea for an uncommon creature to see doodlewashed next, be sure to shout it out in the comments!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Azo Yellow, Permanent Green Pale, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

45 replies on “The Pallas’s Cat

  1. Love the harsh and messy execution of the fur – it does add to the character and comedy of the chap (love the expression too!). I’d never heard of this one either; I rather want one now, though I don’t know why I’m saying that as if it’s any different to any other doodlewash. Great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jacob! Hehe..:the messy execution was me desperately trying to figure out how the heck to make the fur. The end result was less actually thinking so hard and just a mad attack with the brush… 😊 he’s probably a little overdone, but I liked the comedic effect as these creatures are kind of funny cute in real life. You definitely need one!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I think the way you’ve done it really plays to the character! Funny cute indeed, and surprising how the circular pupils make such a difference to the feline complexion. I’ve just had a good chortle at a google search!😛 They’re so cool!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This must be the ultimate grumpy cat! Love those hauntingly expressive eyes! And wowza on the texture! I’ve actually seen pictures of them and love their tiny ears.. I’ve seen one that’s basically a giant furball! Lol.. Very cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your cat looks like it went through the washer on the spin cycle! Lol! 😜 Maybe that’s because I have been doing so much laundry today… Anyway, I’d never hear of this cat. Amazing how you painted the fur and it does have a comical sort of smile on its face. 😺 Good work, Charlie! 💕🎨

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lovely drawing of this nice animal! We had this animal in the zoo in the town I used to life before. Apparently it was in many smaller zoological gardens in Europe some twenty years ago and then somehow became “unfashionabe”. But now the interest is raising again (and our zoo had lot of requests for breeding, being one of the few ones left with the Palla’s cat).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kathrin!! 😃💕 And that’s so cool about your zoo. I think they’re interesting creatures and glad they’re making a comeback. I ran across a lot of funny posts about their unusual expressions, so perhaps this is helping to bring them back in fashion!!


  5. Like everyone said, what a cool cat. I had to look them up, you really intrigued me with your kitty rendering and intense eyes. Super interesting, the hair, wow. They just look like a dense pile of hair with round eyes. Truly cool! Love this doodlewash Charlie!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Don’t know if you’ve ever seen a film of a pallas cat – but the reason they have such small low-angled ears is so they can peer over the top of a rock to eye up their prey without ear-tips showing and giving them away. Imagine for a moment what that looks like – it’s incredibly weird and un cat-like, because over the top of the rock you just see eyes in a furry head…..and when the whole cat does appear it looks more like a rounded shaggy fur covered rock, that creeps about and looks a bit shifty. One of my top ten weirdest animals! Another of which incidentally is the Aye-Aye – have you drawn one yet? I’m afraid I find it rather frightening.

    Liked by 1 person

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