Visible Male/Female Differences
Males are larger than the females.
Habitat and Distribution
All habitats except desert. They require cover to hide in during the day, such
as burrows, caves, thickets or holes in trees.
Changes seasonally and depends on
food availability. Prefers rats and mice but if these are scarce wild cats
readily switch to mammals up to the size of dassies and
hares. Also takes the
young of small antelopes and birds up to the size of guinea fowl and also eats
jackal berries. Will eat insects and
reptiles and take carrion. Sometimes raids domestic
Litters of 2-5 are born in September-March after a gestation of 65 days. The mother may carry them to a new refuge every few
days to avoid predation. Kitten's eyes open at 10-14 days. Families disperse at 5 months.
African wildcats interbreed with domestic cats.
Behavior and Habits
They are active at right, dusk and the early mornings. Can
also be seen
during the day in cool weather. They are solitary and believed to be territorial.
They are good climbers and will takes refuge in trees if pursued. The use the
normal technique: stalking, rushing, pouncing and grabbing the with the front claws.
They display amazing aerial jumps as they snatch doves from the air at
waterholes as as they land or take off. Precise
bites are used depending on the size of the prey.
Typical cat-like spitting with the ears flattened is a defensive threat.
Arching the back and
tail and fluffing up the hair is a neutral threat. Caterwauling precedes
Dung and Field sign
Droppings are buried, left exposed, or accumulated into middens. Claws are sheathed while walking
and do not mark in the spoor. Spoor and dung are indistinguishable from those
of domestic cats. African wild cats pluck feathers from prey whereas genets do