Wild cats are generally predators. They consist of the most dangerous hunters in nature which are the lion, the tiger, the mountain lion (cougar), the jaguar,… However, no one can picture the species with the highest ratio of predation success, up to 60%, more than any of its relatives could be the tiny black-footed cat. In this post, let’s find out more about these interesting animals.
#1. Are Black-footed Cats Friendly?
Sadly, the answer is no. Wild animals are usually aggressive, let alone predators. Even though these little cats are limitlessly adorable and fluffy, whenever a bigger creature approaches them, their natural instinct tells them to hide or run away. Mostly, in national parks, it’s hard to spot them in the wild since they are nocturnal animals which only go out hunting at night. In animal zoos, it’s easier to watch their behaviors since they are kept in captivity. It’s great to look but not to touch. After all, they are wild creatures and are not really fond of cuddling like your house cats.
#2. Black-footed Cat Size Is Really Small.
A black-footed cat weighs around 2 to 2.5 kg, much smaller than a house cat, especially the lazy 8 kg, inactive, food-loving one. This spotted cat species is also the smallest African feline, alongside the famous big-eared sand cat. Its size is about the size of the Singapura cat, the tiniest domesticated cat species. A male is about 35 to 50 cm in body length with a 15 to 20 cm long tail. Otherwise, do not let its size fool you. On the globe, it comes the second smallest in the cat family, only losing to the rusty spotted cat living in the Indian subcontinent.
#3. They Eat And Hunt A Lot. Every Night.
By day, they usually hide in burrows and only come out at night in the southern parts of Africa. On a daily basis, a cat of this species might consume an amount of food about 20% to 30% their weight. Its belly needs to be filled to the fullest. Research has shown that it might take a 20 mile walk to look for meals. These meals are usually insects, small mammals such as mice, birds and even reptiles. Basically, it eats everything in its sight that it might catch. Just like other members of the cat family, speed, sharp teeth and claws are the most effective weapons. The tiny legs might also jump up to a few meters to catch a flying bird.
#4. The Conservation Are Being Taken.
Source: Wild Cat Conservation
These small, spotted, nocturnal predators are only studied recently in Africa. Since the cameras are almost incapable of filming its behaviors in daylight, its existence is also somehow unnoticeable. Fortunately, it has gained more recognition other than the popular African gigantic animals. On the other hand, the World Wildlife Fund has listed it as a vulnerable species. It means it needs to be protected and bred. It is also one of the proof that we still have so much more to learn about this magical world which is full of unexpected mysteries.
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