The Palace of Pallas’ Cats

Yesterday, a reader asked if this site could show more Pallas’ Cats, and in response, Allein S. sent theseΒ videos of the floofy cold-weather cats, including this first one explaining why Pallas’ Cats make wonderful terrible pets and you should totally get one for your home stick to seeing them at the Prospect Park Zoo.

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32 thoughts on “The Palace of Pallas’ Cats

  1. allein May 30, 2016 / 9:40 am

    Yay! I do wonder what the kittens are seeing that’s making them so hissy…but they’re so cuteness*!

    *this is what autocorrect gave me so I’m leaving it. πŸ˜›

  2. 6rabbits May 30, 2016 / 10:10 am

    I dunno…those kittens are sorta creeping me out–especially with the pupils contracting and dilating continuously. And the growling and hissing sound seriously unfriendly. I did think it funny when kitten on left starts growling and sibling on the right gives her a “What?! Huh?” look then starts growling, too. (1:44)

    I’ve seen the second video before and it never ceases to crack me up!πŸ˜‚

    • allein May 30, 2016 / 10:28 am

      The second is what I actually went looking for when I saw the comment requesting them. The others were in the related videos. There’s also one of a Pallas cat pumpkin party!

      I just wonder if the babies are freaking out over the person with the camera or something else. I kinda feel bad for them, but at the same time, I find any baby cat hissing to be adorable. So fierce!

    • Laura May 30, 2016 / 6:18 pm

      What I found mildly creepy was the fact that their eyes were dilating and contracting independently. I mean, normally eyes work in pairs, don’t they? Apparently not Pallas Cats’ eyes.

      Also, they look a bit like raccoons or red pandas. I wonder whether they’re more closely related to them or to cats?

  3. Faye May 30, 2016 / 10:44 am

    Woah! The fierce baby cats make my cat look like a pussy cat. 😜

    • allein May 30, 2016 / 10:47 am

      Ha! 🐈

  4. Tagatha May 30, 2016 / 11:07 am

    The second one is my all-time favourite; first some fluffy stalking and then suddenly, STARE! These are cats I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.

  5. sugitomo May 30, 2016 / 11:29 am

    Super fluffy, but they look constantly angry. Alas, if only the camera has auto-focus on that second video!

    • Em May 30, 2016 / 5:37 pm

      Sugimoto, Here’s a less sulky picture of one, and I agree with you on wishing there was auto-focus on the 2nd video.

      • allein May 30, 2016 / 5:48 pm

        His nose looks kinda small for his face…

        • Em May 30, 2016 / 6:21 pm

          Allein, I agree with you. I am no expert on this particular cat and its evolution. One evolutionary tactic is to use ear size to modulate internal temperature. If you have smaller ears covered with fur, it means that as the blood travels through the body and reaches the veins of the ears, it doesn’t get too cooled down by external temperatures, before re-entering circulation, so it helps conserve overall warmth. There are likely similar benefits to the small button nose, another place which usually has less hair and more exposure.

  6. Gigi_the cat lady May 30, 2016 / 11:43 am

    I love that the female favourite pastime is watching the monkeys in the enclosure in front of hers but it must make the little fellows nervous! I know I would be in their place. As for the kittens, they are aggressive little fur balls aren’t they πŸ™‚

    • Laura May 30, 2016 / 6:20 pm

      Sometimes when prey figures out it’s safe where it is behind glass, it gets brave — like the squirrel who used to tap on the patio door to torment our dog years ago. Makes me wonder if the monkeys sit by the glass and go neener-neener to torment the Pallas cats!

      • Juno May 31, 2016 / 10:38 am

        Yep. I have a chipmunk in my courtyard who will sit right outside the sliding glass door, just inches from my two cats. Drives them nuts, of course. They crouch down, their tails whipping back and forth, while the chipmunk just hangs out, eats a snack, bathes himself. You can tell he’s loving it.

        My brother decided to keep his dog in its outdoor pen overnight to keep raccoons from eating his corn. Except the pen was only *near* the garden, and the dog couldn’t actually get at them at all. I tried to tell my brother that the raccoons would figure it out, but he didn’t listen. It worked the first couple nights. On the third morning, he went out to check on the garden and found the corn was all gone.

        • allein May 31, 2016 / 10:46 am

          Animals are smarter than we give them credit for.

          My chihuahua used to play a game when we got home from work. He stayed in the bedroom when he was home alone, and when we opened the door and reached to pick him up, he would run under the bed then come back when we walked away; he’d repeat this a few times before allowing himself to be caught. One day I opened the door just a few inches and then stood to the side where he couldn’t see me, and he crept out slowly and then when I went to grab him, he turned and was stopped by the door. I tried it again the next day and he refused to come out at all.

          Another time he went just under the side of the bed a few inches, so I could reach him easily and pull him out. The next time he went all the way to the other side of the bed, so I just leaned over the other side and pulled him out again. Next time he sat right in the middle where I couldn’t reach him from any side.

          Smart doggie. πŸ™‚

          • 6rabbits May 31, 2016 / 6:39 pm

            Smarter than some of my students, in fact! Steeper learning curve, too!

        • Em May 31, 2016 / 11:26 am

          “On the third morning, he went out to check on the garden and found the corn was all gone.” I feel like commiserating with your brother and laughing at the same time! I’ve tried to rig up a squirrel-proof bird feeder for years, but am out-smarted every time. It’s to the point now where it’s part of the enjoyment to watch them solve the puzzle.

  7. Duckie May 30, 2016 / 11:53 am

    I want to gently stroke one, and scritch it behind the ears. That fur must be so soft and thick!

    • Phred's Mom May 30, 2016 / 12:39 pm

      To paraphrase: though they be but little, they are fierce.

      • 6rabbits May 30, 2016 / 5:19 pm

        πŸ˜† πŸ‘πŸΌ

  8. tara May 30, 2016 / 1:11 pm

    I see Salvador Dali kitties – (third video) especially the second from the right in the first bit of the film, see the mustache? and the eye balls?

    Still think they are terribly cute though.

  9. dubravkamcvmd May 30, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    It seems mean to disregard their hissing. Wouldn’t it make them feel helpless? Of course I watched all six minutes of their hissing because they’re mesmerizingly beautiful while hissing.

  10. Em May 30, 2016 / 3:35 pm

    Allein S, Thank you! That was very kind of you! Thank you Mike. Today is a bit of a working day for me, but this is certainly a light, bright spot in it, as are so many of the posts.

    • allein May 30, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      You’re welcome! I saw Pallas Cats and I immediately thought of the one suspiciously checking out the camera. Had to go find it and send it in! πŸ™‚

  11. Mariana May 30, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    Well, I’m being mauled at this very moment by my cat. I don’t know what’s happening but she is coming for blood. So yeah, no big difference between them and her. Also, they are so fluffy! Cue Agnes from despicable me

    • allein May 30, 2016 / 5:13 pm

      • Mariana May 30, 2016 / 6:27 pm

        I will never not laugh at this!

  12. Alice Shortcake May 30, 2016 / 6:16 pm

    Pallas kittens: things that make you say “Awwwwwww!” then back out of the room slowly.

    • 6rabbits May 30, 2016 / 6:58 pm


    • fkaWaldenPond May 30, 2016 / 9:02 pm


  13. fkaWaldenPond May 30, 2016 / 7:05 pm

    The adults have kinda a Capuchin monkey vibe going on and I’m with you 6Rabbits on the creep factor; that cute little pit of hissing snakes, I mean den of fuzzy-wuzzy kitties.

  14. Kar May 30, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    If snow leopards were Thundercats, these guys would definitely be Snarf(s),

    Seriously, they’re like munchkin versions of the snow leopards, which makes sense since they’re from Central China.

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