Felis lybica
Status: Least Concern
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Felis
Description: The fur of the African wildcat is light sandy grey, and sometimes with a pale yellow or reddish hue, but almost whitish on the belly and on the throat. The ears have small tufts, are reddish to grey, with long light yellow hairs around the pinna. The stripes around the face are dark ochre to black: two run horizontally on the cheek from the outer corner of the eye to the jaw, a smaller one from the inner corner of the eye to the rhinarium, and four to six across the throat. Two dark rings encircle the forelegs, and hind legs are striped. A dark stripe runs along the back, the flanks are lighter. Pale vertical stripes on the sides often dissolve into spots. Its tail has two to three rings towards the end with a black tip. Its feet are dark brown to black below.

General Information

The African wildcat is a small wildcat species native to Africa and Asia
Shoulder height:
Length: 40.6–55.8 cm
Tail Length:
Weight: 3.2–4.5 kg
Age: up to 12 yrs in the wild

Fun Facts !

The African wildcat is the ancestor of the domestic cat and is the most common wildcat in Africa. They are an important part of the African ecosystem and help to control populations of rodents and other small animals.

Ecology and Behaviour

African wildcats are active mainly by night and search for prey. Their hearing is so fine that they can locate prey precisely. They approach prey by patiently crawling forward and using vegetation to hide. They rarely drink water. They hunt primarily mice, rats, birds, reptiles, and insects.

Conservation

African wildcats were listed as a Least Concern on the IUCN Red List in 2022, though their populations are in decline due to habitat loss, genetic pollution by domestic cats. and hunting.

Distribution and Habitat

The African wildcat occurs throughout zambia, across Africa, asia and can live in a variety of habitats. They are not often seen. They hunt at night, preying on small mammals, birds, frogs and insects. Their young are born in a hollow tree or burrow.

Interaction with humans

African wildcats are sometimes kept as pets, but they can be difficult to tame and require a lot of space. They are also very shy animals and will usually avoid humans.

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