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Sand Cat

Sand Cat

DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT

North Africa, South-West and Central Asia. Sandy desert, with rare vegetation.

BEHAVIOUR

The sand cat is mainly nocturnal. He is perfectly adapted to the extreme conditions of the desert. Sand cat can dig the sand burrows with an amazing speed, and use them as a shelter when temperatur is high during the day or cold night.

DIET

It hunts alone, mainly small rodents, sometimes small birds, lizards, snakes and arthropods. He hides the excess food for the next meal under the sand.

REPRODUCTION

After a pregnancy of about 66 days, the female gives birth to 3 young. Newborns weigh from 39 to 80 g, they are growing very quickly. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 14 months. Lifespan: up to 13 years in zoos.

GOOD TO KNOW

Quite long hair, growing between the toes and forming a fur cushion, prevents from sinking into the sand and isolates from hot surface. The main threat is environmental degradation and “hunting for sport”.

  • Latin name: Felis margarita harrisoni
  • IUCN Red List – NT – Near Threatened
  • CITES – Apendix II
  • EEP – species or subspecies for which regional, European studbook exists.

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