Unusual features/differences from similar
Dark bands on
top of the shoulders and legs as well as on
the body. The spots on the back of the African wild
cat are not defined. The tail has a black tip and is short
as opposed to the African wild cat which
has a long tail.
Visible Male/Female Differences
Males are larger than females
Habitat and Distribution
Dry, open grassland and scrub
Rodents, shrews, hares, rock rabbits, birds and small vertebrates and invertebrates.
Also takes birds' eggs and scavenges.
to three kittens weighing
60-90g are born in summer after a gestation of 63-68 days. There may be 2 litters a year.
Eyes open at 3-9 days and takes solid food at 32-35 days. Kittens are weaned by 2
months and are independent at
3 months. They remain their mother's home range.
Behavior and Habits
Solitary and active at night. Shelters during the day in burrows or holes in
termite mounds from which it gets its Afrikaans name "miershooptier"-
which directly translated is termite mound tiger. They hunt employing the classical feline
method: a stalk, rush, pounce and grabbing the prey with the front claws. Prey is
found by active searching or by patiently waiting at rodent burrows. Birds may be snatched
from the air. Small mammals are killed with a swift head or neck bite. The the whole
animal is eaten, including the guts. Excess food is stashed away for later
consumption. They haveterritories with home ranges of 700-900 ha. Young males scent mark with sprayed urine.
loud, deep 'raaow' is a contact call and made during breeding period.
and Field Sign
Fairly large for such a small cat. Covered by females near dens.