Fishing Cat in PakistanWestern GhatsSri LankaThailandJava

Distribution and habitat

The Fishing Cat is discontinuously distributed in Asia ranging from Pakistan's Indus valley and the Himalayan foothills in India and Nepal to the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta, along India's east coast and in Sri Lanka (Mukherjee et al. submitted). The westernmost Fishing Cat population lives in India's Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan (Sadhu and Reddy 2013). On Indonesia's island of Java, the Fishing Cat was restricted to a few coastal wetlands until the mid 1990s (Melisch et al. 1996).

The Fishing Cat is strongly associated with swamps and marshy areas, oxbow lakes, reed beds, tidal creeks and mangrove habitats (Nowell and Jackson 1996). More recently, Fishing Cats have also been recorded in degraded habitats in the Ganges delta (Adhya et al. 2011) and near aquaculture ponds in the Gulf of Thailand (Cutter and Cutter 2009).

In the following map,

-- point to locations, where Fishing Cats were recorded after 2000;

-- point to locations with records of Fishing Cats in Sri Lanka sent by Andrew Kittle from the Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust;

-- point to areas thought to harbour Fishing Cats, but records are either from before 2000 or not available.

For further information about individual locations : click on the pin to zoom in.


  1. Adhya, T., Dey, P., Das, U., Hazra, P. 2011. Status survey of Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) in Howrah and Hooghley, West Bengal Intermediate report submitted to the Small Grants Programme, WWF, India.
  2. Cutter, P. and Cutter, P. 2009. Recent sightings of Fishing Cats in Thailand. Cat News 51: 12–13.
  3. Melisch, R., Asmoro, P. B., Lubis, I. R., Kusumawardhani, L. 1996. Distribution and status of the Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus rhizophoreus Sody, 1936) in West Java, Indonesia (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae). Faunistische Abhandlungen, Staatliches Museum für Tierkunde Dresden 20 (17): 311–319.
  4. Mukherjee, S., Appel, A., Duckworth, J. W., Sanderson, J., Dahal, S., Willcox, D. H. A., Herranz Muñoz, V., Malla, G., Ratnayaka, A., Kantimahanti, M., Thudugala, A., Thaung R. and Rahman, H. submitted. Prionailurus viverrinus. In: IUCN 2016. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.1.
  5. Nowell, K. and Jackson, P. 1996. Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus. In Wild Cats: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.
  6. Sadhu, A. and Reddy, G. V. 2013. First evidence of Fishing Cat in the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, India. Cat News 58: 36–37.

Text and map compiled by Angie Appel

Suggested citation:

Appel, A. 2016. Fishing Cat: distribution and habitat. Fishing Cat Working Group.