Sand cat, also know as the sand dune, is a small wild cat living in deserts. Unlike the jungle cat, which enjoys living by the water, our small friend from desert lives far away from water sources. Moreover, this cat is a poor climber, yet excellent when it comes to burrowing. Well, she has to hide somewhere during the heat, right?
Where can we find the sand cat?
Did you know this cute creature is the only cat capable of living and surviving in the deserts? It is widely distributed in the deserts of North Africa, Southwest, and Central Asia. Flat terrain with rare vegetation of grasses or small bushes is this cat’s favorite habitat. Sadly, our small and cute friend is listed as nearly threatened because of habitat loss.
Size and appearance.
Since this cat lives in the desert, naturally it is well adapted and camouflaged. The color of the coat is beige, light brown or grey. A reddish line runs from the outer corner of each eye across the cheeks. Markings vary among the individuals, so there are species with no spots or stripes at all, some are faintly spotted, while the others have both spots and stripes. The length varies from 15 to 20 inches, while weight goes between 3,3 and 7,5 pounds.
What does the sand cat eat?
Being a carnivore, this beauty eats small rodents, sandfish, insects, birds, lizards, and even venomous vipers, just like mongooses. And if it grasps more than it could eat, it will burrow the leftovers into the sand, for later.
When females decide to mate, they will frequently call the males and scent mark. This can last from 5 to 6 days, after what the female chooses the male to mate with. After a gestation of 59 to 66 days, the mother gives birth to two or three kittens. They grow relatively rapidly, reaching three-quarters of the adult size within five months. After about a year, the kittens are fully independent.
If you wondered how can this small and cute animal survive in the hot desert, don’t worry. Like the camel, the sand cat can also survive a long time without water. Moreover, the fur on its paws protects the cat’s feet from burning while walking on the hot sand. In fact, this cutie even doesn’t leave any footprints!
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