The Pallas’ cat or manul is a a species of cat native to the steps of Central Asia. The manul is about the size of a house cat with shorter legs. Its long, thick fur gives it the appearance of being bulkier than it actually is. Among its unusual features for felines are shorter claws and fewer teeth (the first upper premolar is absent) than most cats.
The range of this species is broken and patchy, occurring within Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Kashmir, the Tibetan Plateau and parts of Russia.
They shelter in caves, crevices, and marmot burrows most of the day and come out in the late afternoon to hunt. They take voles, gerbils, pikas, partridges, small marmots, as well as other small diurnal animals. They aren’t fast runners and so use the terrain for cover and ambush their prey.
They are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN. Hunting and trapping are the main dangers they face for their survival. Domestic dogs will also kill them, and they often get caught in leg snares intended for wolves and foxes, or marmots and hares. They’re also frequently shot when mistaken for marmots.