The Cat Shark is in the same genus, Chiloscyllium, as the Brownbanded Bamboo Shark, but it gets much larger. While the Brownbanded Bamboo Shark will grow to only 40 inches (104 cm), the Cat Shark will reach a whooping 87 inches (220 cm)! One good sized fish! Obviously too large for many marine aquariums!
We acquired this shark from someone who could not keep it anymore so they gave it to us when it was about 2 feet long. Still very small for a Cat Shark!
We kept it in a 400 gallon display pond with several other sharks and large groupers. You can see the Horned Shark just below the Cat Shark. You can also see why they call it a 'cat' shark since its barbels look like cat whiskers.
For more Information on keeping marine fish see:Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium
Cat Shark, Chiloscyllium arabicum
Cat Shark in the wild
Cat Sharks will reach over 18 feet, thus needing a crazy huge tank! If you have a tank that is about 1,000 gallons or a pond in the back yard, this shark is easy to keep. Want a shark that won't eat the cat that it is named after? There is the Bamboo Shark which is from the same family, but only grows a little over 3 feet. That is still huge, but not as daunting as the Cat Shark. Their barbels look like whiskers of a cat, thus earning them this name.
Maintenance difficulty: The Cat Shark gets too large for most aquariums but is otherwise easy to keep.
Maintenance: Feed all kinds of large meaty foods like small pieces of fish, squid, shrimp, and live goldfish. Best to feed small amounts several times a day.
Habitat: Natural geographic location: Western Indian Ocean: India, Pakistan, and the Persian Gulf between Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula.
Foods: See 'maintenance' above.
Social Behaviors: Gets along with other fish as long as they are large enough not to be thought of as food!
Sex: Sexual differences: The medial edges of the male's pelvic fins are modified to form claspers. The claspers are tubelike organs designed to deliver sperm into the female's reproductive tract. As the males grow older the claspers become more pronounced. The females do not have these.
Light: Recommended light levels: No special requirements.
Breeding/Reproduction: Egglayer, sometimes shark eggs are available for sale. Babies that are born at Sea World in San Diego, California are also occasionally available for purchase.
Temperature: No special requirements.
Length/Diameter of fish: Cat Shark adults can grow to 220 cm ( 87 inches).
Minimum Tank Length/Size: A minimum 400 gallon aquarium is recommended.
Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong No special requirements.
Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom Usually found resting on the bottom.
Availability: This fish is available from time to time available.