The Calgary Zoo’s two new cats are an internet sensation

Published: November 21, 2019

Photo by Igor Pushkarev/Shutterstock

The Calgary Zoo is home to a ton of exotic animals, but it’s a new pair of cats that are drawing the most attention right now. 

The Pallas’s cat sisters, Nox and Pema, arrived from Utah’s Hogle Zoo in October, and with a photo finally taken and shared on the Calgary Zoo’s Instagram, they’ve become an immediate hit.


It’s their equally unusual but adorable appearance that is getting the most attention. From their long and furry coats, to their flat face and grumpy-like expression, people can’t stop commenting on how these felines look like they’re straight out of a Dr. Suess book.

Pallas’s cats, also known as Otocolobus manul, live in the mountainous regions of Central Asia and prefer colder living environments—if you’re looking for Nox and Pema, you can find them in the zoo’s Eurasia habitat. 

In order to keep warm in the chillier temperatures, these cats have one of the longest and thickest coats of fur of any feline breed, with their belly and tail fur growing almost twice the length of the rest of their fur. All of this hair is deceptive of the Pallas’s cat’s true size—they are not much larger than a house cat. 

According to the Calgary Zoo, Pallas’s cats are shy and like to hang out alone. You can find them hanging out in caves and rock crevices. Your best chance at catching a glimpse of one of these the wild cats is early in the morning or at dusk, when they are usually in search of food. They hunt pika, ground squirrels, and birds. 

The Calgary Zoo shared on Twitter that the Pallas’s cat is “Near Threatened” and that their population is decreasing. The zoo’s previous Pallas’s cat, named Igor, died in 2018 from an aggressive cancer, so the arrival of the two sisters is an exciting time. We suggest taking the opportunity to go see the elusive cats if you have the chance.