African wildcat is a wild cat found in Africa. It was first domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Near East. Like the margay, ocelot, and many other small wild cats, this one is also related to domestic cats. Moreover, it looks like one, too!
Where can we find the African wild cat?
As the name suggests, this cat is native to Africa. Arabian Peninsula, Middle East, and the Caspian sea are the areas where this wildcat can be found. Moreover, it inhabits a variety of places, such as hilly and mountainous landscapes. However, in deserts such as the Sahara, it occurs at much lower densities.
How does an African wild cat look?
The fur of this beauty is light sandy grey, with a pale yellow or reddish hue, yet almost whitish on the belly and on the throat. The ears have small tufts, reddish to grey, with long light yellow hairs. Its tail has two to three rings towards the end with a black tip. The head-to-body length is from 18,5 to 23,5 inches, with a weight between 7,1 to 9,9 pounds.
Diet and hunting.
Our wildcat is nocturnal, and it will often travel far at night seeking prey. This cat’s favorite diet includes rats, mice, gerbils, hares, small to medium-sized birds, and lizards. However, our opportunist will even attack the antelopes, along with the domestic stock.
These cats are polygynous. When the female is ready to mate, males in the area will gather around and compete for attention. Breeding will happen between December and February, with another one from May to July. After a gestation period of 60 to 68 days, the mother gives birth to one to even seven kittens! The babies will be close to the mother for two months, being fully independent after five months.
Wildcats are very important to humans because they have an important role in controlling populations of rodents and other small mammals. Hence, this is the reason why these cats have been domesticated.
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