Its distinctly elongated, flattened head and small, rounded ears, make this unusual member of the cat family bear a strong resemblance to the civets, which are not cats, but members of the Viverridae family (4) (5). About the size of a domestic cat, the flat-headed cat has a long body, short legs and a short, thickly-furred tail (5). Even more than the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrina), the flat-headed cat appears remarkably adapted to a semi-aquatic, fish-eating lifestyle (6). Partial webbing between the toes help the animal to move through water, and the long, narrow jaws and pointed, backward-facing teeth aid the catching and holding of slippery prey such as fish and frogs. The thick, soft coat is reddish-brown on the top of the head and dark brown on the body, finely speckled with grey and buff on the tips (5). The belly is mottled white, spotted and splashed with brown, and the insides of the limbs are reddish-brown, fading towards the feet (2). The muzzle, chin and cheeks are white, with two dark streaks on each cheek and prominent white stripes between and below the large brown eyes (5).
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