Home » animals » Facts about cats. It is also threatened by bushmeat hunting, particularly in the Congo Basin. House cats are, however, more social and lenient when it comes to tolerating others of their species and have been known to form groups who feed together when there is a great surplus of food, while also raising young together in the process. Body length usually varies within the range of 61 to 101 cm (24 to 40 in). Namibia travel is characterized by unique desert safari activities. The African wildcat is a shy, wild cousin of the domestic house cat which occurs widely across the continent. Cats 27,878 512 6. Females: 110 to 168 kg. It lives in a wide variety of habitats like tropical forests, savanna, swamps, etc. The wide distribution translates to a variety of prey availability and size, which dictates the size of the wild cat. [16][3] The golden cat is found at elevations of up to 3,000 m from sea level. Lifespan: Up to 20 years in captivity. It is, however, less diverse in its appearance, as its fur color is typically brown and grey on most of its back and side, with black stripes covering its front and hind legs. [2] Its body size ranges from 61 to 101 cm (24 to 40 in) with a 16 to 46 cm (6.3 to 18.1 in) long tail. Adobe. These two species, together with the serval (Leptailurus serval), form the Caracal lineage, one of the eight lineages of Felidae. The Wildcat ranges over Africa, Europe and central Asia to India, China and Mongolia. Marsden Point - New Zealand-35.832°, 174.486° Date Taken. Distribution. The Sabi Sand comprises 65 000 hectares of extended Greater Kruger National Park wilderness and fine, luxury lodges. Here, they may be seen growing up over the course of the next few months, untill they eventually become independent. The wildcat is a species complex comprising two small wild cat species, the European wildcat (Felis silvestris) and the African wildcat (F. lybica).The European wildcat inhabits forests in Europe and the Caucasus, while the African wildcat inhabits semi-arid landscapes and steppes in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, into western India and western China. Males can weigh between 15–34 pounds, females can weigh between 15–25 pounds. The African golden cat (Caracal aurata) is a wild cat endemic to the rainforests of West and Central Africa. The kittens weigh 180 to 235 g (6.3 to 8.3 oz). Their size, coat colour and pattern vary from continent to continent. The Garden Route will appeal to a variety of discerning travelers, from romance-seeking honeymoon couples to fun-seeking families. Because they are so active in the wild, the African Wildcats are lean, muscular, and nearly always in ideal body condition. At the time a female is ready to mate, males in the area gather near her and compete for access. Uploaded. Place of Photo. [19] The color of the fur ranges from creamy to gray or reddish gray. Product #: gm837410032 $ 12.00 iStock In stock [3] Previously, it was placed in the genus Profelis. Its eye colour ranges from pale blue to brown. He named it Felis celidogaster. African Golden Cat. [10], In 1858, Nikolai Severtzov proposed the generic names Profelis with F. celidogaster as type species, and Chrysailurus with F. neglecta as type species. [1] Hunting African golden cats is prohibited in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. Big Wild Cats 1,245 112 2. It is rare to see the African wild cat these days, as so much interbreeding has occurred with domestic cats. The female gives birth to one or two kittens after a gestation period of around 75 days. Another example is the jaguar. Their lifespan in the wild is unknown. Their eyes open within a week of birth, and they are weaned at 6–8 weeks. Its tail is darker on the top and either heavily banded, lightly banded or plain, ending in a black tip. Zambia's top safari areas include South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Kafue. They have also been known to take domestic poultry and livestock. Photo Details. Its undersides and areas around the eyes, cheeks, chin, and throat are lighter in colour to almost white. [23], Due to its extremely reclusive habits, little is known about the behaviour of African golden cats. Females reach sexual maturity at 11 months of age, and males at around 18 months. They have even been observed living in treeless floodplains where they take refuge in burrows dug by other animals such as hyenas or aardvarks. Although it is an agile tree climber, this cat spends most of its time on the ground. In others the spotting pattern is limited to the belly and inner legs. The wild cats (known to […] Six thousand years ago Egyptians domesticated the African Wild Cat to control mice and rats raiding granaries. They are hunted down and threatened by a number of predators, which include just about any other cat or dog species, such as jackals, leopards, lions or caracals, in addition to eagles and other birds of prey who might easily make a meal out of their newborn kittens. Size. It is about twice the size of a domestic cat. Further north, they also thrive in the grasslands of East Africa, and the jungles of Western Africa as you approach the coast. They do also give out signs of a warning with low pitched humming or growling, to which their opponent either runs away or wanders closer. Fremantle, Western Australia-32.055°, 115.725° Date Taken. [4], African golden cats are able to climb, but hunt primarily on the ground. Travel to South Africa with African Sky for the ultimate African vacation. The only forest-dependent wild cat in Africa, ... sturdy animals are about twice the size of a domestic cat and named for the colour of their fur. Leopards can pull 200 kg of prey up a tree. They have longer legs than the domestic cat, giving them a more upright posture in the sitting position and a different walking form. I saw the African wild cat at Kapama Reserve, near Kruger National Park in South Africa. Lion Weight. They mainly hunt or forage at night, and use their good sense of sight in the night to target prey almost their own size, which includes scrub hares and spring hares in the Kruger National Park. They grow and develop rapidly in comparison with other small cat species. [4], Felis aurata was the scientific name used by Coenraad Jacob Temminck who described a reddish-brown coloured cat skin in 1827 that he had bought from a merchant in London. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland. The Caracal and African Golden Cat are more closely related in the Caracal genus but the Serval is more distantly related and is classed in its own Leptailurus genus. [7] Felis rutilus proposed by George Robert Waterhouse in 1842 was a reddish cat skin from Sierra Leone. There are several wildcat species distributed around the world, of which the European wildcat (Felis Silvestris) and the African wildcat are the most common. The cat inhabits rainforests, high moorlands, bamboo forests, and cloud forests in its range. The wildcat is the size of a large housecat. Uploaded. Wildcats are polygynous. Head to body length: 45 to 75 cm; Tail: 20 to 38 cm. We are also working on a special book with information and photos of all species. Whether this is the same with African wild cats is unknown, but some observations of individuals hunting together do support this theory. They are arguably some of Africa’s most widely spread small cat species, being found as far south as South Africa, and as far north as parts of the Middle East and Asia. Between the late 18th and 20th centuries, several naturalists and curators of natural history museums described and proposed new names for wildcat holotypes from Africa and the Near East, including: [20], The African golden cat inhabits tropical forests from sea level to 3,000 m (9,800 ft). Lions are the second largest wild cat in the world and the largest big cat in Africa. Zimbabwe is home to off-the-beaten-track safari areas like Mana Pools and Hwange. It is a close relative of both the caracal and the serval. Male jaguars in Venezuela are almost twice the weight of those in Belize (104 kg to 56 kg). Tail length ranges from 16 to 46 cm (6.3 to 18.1 in), and shoulder height is about 38 to 55 cm (15 to 22 in). [9] In Afrikaans (South Africa) vaalboskat means 'grey bush cat'. Photo Details. [4][19], Knowledge of the African golden cat's reproductive habits is based on captive individuals. Botswana's national parks are enormous and strikingly varied in terms of scenery. [10], Skins of African golden cats can be identified by the presence of a distinctive whorled ridge of fur in front of the shoulders, where the hairs change direction. This wildcat and domestic cat do hold similarities, however, the wildcat is larger in size and resembles a lynx. The Leopardus pardalis is a wild cat whose range extends from the southwestern parts of the US to South America. Areas close to settlements and within agricultural zones are also used for living space by these animals, and this has greatly contributed to their domestication by people. The African wildcat has longer legs than the domestic cat giving it a more upright posture in the sitting position and a different walking form. 3 to 6.5 kg. Sizes vary widely from region to region, however. There are 36 species of wild cats. And search more of iStock's library of royalty-free stock images that features Africa photos available for quick and easy download. Habitat. Males: 150 to 272 kg. "The Late Miocene Radiation of Modern Felidae: A Genetic Assessment", "On some new species of Quadrupeds and Shells", "Description of two Mammals from the Ituri Forest", "Notice sur la classification multisériale des Carnivores, spécialement des Félidés, et les études de zoologie générale qui s'y rattachent", "The classification of the existing Felidae", "Phylogenetic reconstruction of the Felidae using 16S rRNA and NADH-5 mitochondrial genes", "Phylogeny and evolution of cats (Felidae)", "A revised taxonomy of the Felidae: The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group", "High mammalian diversity in the newly established National Park of Upper Niger, Republic of Guinea", "Inventorying medium-and large-sized mammals in the African lowland rainforest using camera trapping", Species portrait African golden cat; IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, "African Golden Cat: camera traps capture stunning photos of Africa's least-known felid", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=African_golden_cat&oldid=988201320, Mammals of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Short description is different from Wikidata, Taxonbars with automatically added original combinations, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Distribution of the African golden cat, 2015, This page was last edited on 11 November 2020, at 18:50. The wildcat and the “domestic cat” were one and the same animal in terms of mental and physical characteristics. Yellow eyes 135 7 0. Kafue National Park in Zambia has been suggested as a good spot for the wildcat. It prefers dense, moist forest with heavy undergrowth, and is often found close to rivers, but it may also be found in cloud forest, bamboo forests, and high moorland habitats. We can provide you with driver guides who speak French, Spanish, or German upon request. European wildcats are native to Europe and are larger than domestic cats, which are actually descended from the “tamer” subspecies of African wildcat. [11] The Caracal aurata is a wild cat that is found only in Central and West Africa. One individual was reported to be scaling a 40-cm wall within 16 days of birth, reflecting a high degree of physical agility from an early age. They have quite a brief period in which mating can happen – a few days while a female is in heat, driven by her need to mate and her instinct to expand her family and ensure the survival of her species. Lion Head+Body Length. Size: 22–39 inches in length. African wildcat, (Felis silvestris libyca), also called Egyptian wildcat, small, tabbylike cat (family Felidae) found in open and forested regions of Africa and Asia.Likely the first cat to be domesticated, the African wildcat is somewhat larger and stockier than the modern house cat, with which it interbreeds readily. After some recent taxonomic changes, the wildcat species have been separated into the African and Asiatic wildcat, and the European wildcat. It is a heavily built cat, with stocky, long legs, a relatively short tail, and large paws. Original Size. There are three medium-sized African wild cats - the Caracal, Serval and African Golden Cat which weigh up to a maximum of 16 to 19kg.. All three cats belong to the Caracal lineage. Wallpaper Groups . Its body size ranges from 61 to 101 cm (24 to 40 in) with a 16 to 46 cm (6.3 to 18.1 in) long tail. This species is very open to any living environment, and settles in a variety of habitats which may include grasslands, jungles, forests, fynbos, mountainous areas and a host of others. As at 2017 the African Wildcat and Asiatic Wildcat are now grouped together under the African-Asiatic Wildcat (Felis lybica) species. It has small, rounded ears. Without the African wildcat, you wouldn’t ever have a pet cat. [17], Two African golden cat subspecies are recognised as valid since 2017:[18], The following cladogram shows the phylogenetic relationships of the African golden cat:[3][17] All our safaris are conducted in luxury seven-seater minibuses. The wildcat has an estrus period in December to February and another one in May to July. In captivity, they live up to 12 years. 2009-09-12 14:48 . They are fairly harmless to larger animals, although their sharp claws can slice through a person’s skin, still making them a hazard. [6] iStock African Wild Cat Family Stock Photo - Download Image Now Download this African Wild Cat Family photo now. AFRICAN WILDCAT. The African wildcat’s fur is short, reddish to sandy and tawny brown to greyish coloured, typically marked with faint, unremarkable tabby stripes and spots on the body and sides. [4], Overall, the African golden cat resembles the caracal, but has shorter untufted ears, a longer tail, and a shorter, more rounded face. Three Medium-Sized African Cats. The African golden cat (Caracal aurata) is a wild cat endemic to the rainforests of West and Central Africa. Hair of melanistic skins is entirely black. In Gabon's Moukalaba-Doudou National Park, it was recorded in forested areas during surveys in 2012. [4], In Guinea's National Park of Upper Niger, it was recorded during surveys conducted in 1996 to 1997. When a predator walks closer, they might take the coward's way out and run, although in Africa this might be the most realistically safe method. The Somalian, Ethiopian, Sudanese and Egyptian coastlines are also full of them, and their range also extends along the entire Mediterranean coastline within Africa. Luxury Minibuses. Cape Town is one of the world's most enchanting cities, combining stunning natural beauty with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. The African wildcat is very closely related to the domestic house cat, and is the same approximate size as well. Cats in the western parts of its range tend to have heavier spotting than those in the eastern region. Big cats 954 60 1. Facts about cats. The sprawling Kruger National Park stretches across the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces in South Africa. [4], The African golden cat is threatened by extensive deforestation of tropical rainforests, their conversion to oil palm plantations coupled with mining activities and road building, thus destroying its essential habitat. However, the cat's fur colour and size does resemble a Savannah cat, a cross between a domestic cat and a serval African wildcat, similar to the one seen roaming through Highgate in … 2012-06-12 14:52 . The vast majority of Southern Africa, including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique, all have African wildcat populations. The cat is found from Senegal in the west to Kenya in the east, and ranges as far north as the Central African Republic and as far south as northern Angola. 2010-04-03 15:34 . Also see the overview with photo’s and brief descriptions. They are the largest of the wildcat family and can be double the size of a domestic pet cat and infinitely more ferocious. What to know about ocelots. They are solitary animals, and are normally crepuscular or nocturnal, although they have also been observed hunting during the day, depending on the availability of local prey. A black cat skin from eastern Congo was proposed as Felis maka in 1942. Ocelots are a small wild cat from South America (although they can be found as far north as Texas). Grey skins have hairs that are not pigmented in their middle zones, whereas hair of red skins is pigmented intensively red. At the moment of domestication the African wildcat or the European wildcat was also a semi-domesticated cat attached to some households. Then … Her litter of kittens averages at about 2 or 3 and are born within any secluded spot their mother can find in the habitat. Original Size. Two color morphs, a red and a grey phase, were once thought to indicate separate species, rather than colour variations of the same species. Its rounded head is very small in relation to its body size. Wild Cats: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. They are not particularly social creatures and contact between individuals is rare, although not unheard of. African & Asian Lion Size. Weight. The largest is the tiger. This period is typically 4 or so days long, and is followed by ovulation to ensure that the copulation is successful. [13][10][14][15][2], Phylogenetic analysis of cat samples showed that the African golden cat is closely related with the caracal (Caracal caracal). It is threatened due to deforestation and bushmeat hunting and listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. 2012-06-12 11:39 . This small, but perfectly adapted predator, is prevalent in much of … This also means that they have the same kind of social organization. So, visit one of the few reserves that are still home to them. Previously, it was placed in the genus Profelis. They also scavenge on the waste of settlements on the outskirts of small towns bordering their natural habitat. The African Wildcat Felis lybica is the size of a large housecat. African Wildcats Adventure Safaris is an African-owned, Kenyan-owned company with staff drawn from seven of Kenya’s forty-two language groups. Diet: Mostly small mammals, birds, fish, insects, and reptiles. In comparison, the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) seems a little plain. Nowell, K. and Jackson, P. (1996). The Scottish wildcat evolved from a population of European wildcats which became isolated by the English Channel over 9000 years ago. Diana Robinson Photography/ Getty Images. Males: 172 to 250 cm. Key African Wildcat Statistics. In size, the African Wild Cat is slightly larger than the average domestic cat. [1], The African golden cat is listed in CITES Appendix II. The information below is a copy of the overview on our sister website Wild Cats Magazine where the descriptions reside. Like house cats, they respond to attacks or calls of distress with a hissing sound. The diminutive African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) is often overlooked in favour of its more impressive feline cousins.However, what it lacks in size and strength, it more than makes up for in stealth and success. African wildcats are another widespread terrestrial-bound species of African mammal. The cat weighs around 5.5 to 16 kg (12 to 35 lb), with males being larger than females. Felis chrysothrix cottoni proposed by Richard Lydekker in 1906 was a dark grey cat skin from the Ituri Rainforest. Weight: 22–44 pounds Average Life Span in the Wild: up to 15 years Range: Canada and the northern United States Physical Description: The Canada lynx is about the same size as the bobcat—though the lynx has more hair, especially around the face and feet to keep them warmer in the colder climate.Both species have tufted ears and a bobbed, black-tipped tail as well. The size of the cat ranges from 55 to 100 cm while the tail is around 26 to 45 cm long. Some are spotted, with the spots ranging from faded tan to black in colour. Steppes, savannahs and bushland. There are eighteen subspecies, with a small population remaining in the North African nation of Morocco.They are medium-sized cats, with an average floor-to-shoulder height of 24 inches/ 60 centimeters. 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