Black-footed cat Facts

Black-footed cat Facts
Black-footed cat is a species of wild cat. There are 2 subspecies of black-footed cats that are endemic for the South Africa (they can be found only there and nowhere else). They inhabit open, arid-savannas, steppes and semi-deserts covered with trees and shrubs in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Angola. Number of black-footed cats in the wild is decreasing due to habitat destruction (as a result of overgrazing), accidental poisoning and because of the reduction of available prey. This cat is listed as vulnerable (it may become endangered in the near future).
Interesting Black-footed cat Facts:
Black-footed cat can reach 2.4 to 4.2 pounds of weight and 14 to 17 inches in length. Males are larger than females.
Black-footed cat has pink skin covered with tawny or creamy-colored fur. Dorsal and lateral sides of the body and belly are covered with blackish-brown spots. Black stripes and rings can be seen on the neck, shoulders, legs and tail. Soles of the feet are black colored, hence the name - "black-footed".
Black-footed cat has big, amber-colored eyes, wide head and low-positioned rounded ears. This cat is poor climber due to stocky body and short tail.
Black-footed cat is nocturnal animal. It travels up to 5 miles per night to find food.
Black-footed cat hunts and eats gerbils, mice, shrews, birds, reptiles and insects. It can kill and eat up to 14 small animals per night.
Black-footed cat absorbs moisture from food and it rarely drinks water.
Main predators of black-footed cat are dogs, caracals and jackals.
Black-footed cat is solitary and territorial animal. Males occupy territory of 8.5 square miles, females of 3.9 square miles. Male's territory usually overlaps with territories of 1 to 4 nearby females. These cats use scent, urine, feces and scratch-marks to mark their territory.
Black-footed cat rests during the day inside abandoned mammalian burrows or in the termite mounds.
Black-footed cats communicate via loud calls, purrs, gurgles, growls and hisses.
Local name for the black-footed cat is "miershooptier" which means "anthill tiger". Name refers to the aggressive behavior that is characteristic for the cornered black-footed cats.
Mating season of black-footed cats takes place from July to March.
Pregnancy in females lasts 63 to 68 days and ends with 1 to 3 (usually 2) kittens. Babies are blind and helpless at birth, but they develop quickly. Female often changes the location of den during the first few weeks of the kittens' life to protect them from predators.
Kittens are able to walk at the age of 2 weeks, to eat solid food at the age of one month and to start independent life at the age of 4 to 5 months. Black-footed cats reach sexual maturity between the first and second year of life.
Black-footed cat can survive up to 13 years in the captivity.

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