Black Footed Cat

Black Footed Cat.


Name

Black-Footed Cat [Felis nigripes]

Introduction

This species is very secretive in nature, which makes it difficult to census. The Black-Footed Cat is nevertheless considered rare. Except for the very short period during which mating occurs, black-footed cats prefer a solitary existence.

Diet

The Black-Footed Cat preys mainly on rodents and shrews, small birds, large soft-bodied insects, snakes, geckos, spiders and scorpions. The ‘sit and wait' tactic, slow stalking and a fast trot to surprise prey, are the three hunting styles of this feline predator. In order to catch birds in flight, they can jump two meters far and 1,4 meters high.

Breeding

At least two litters are raised per female in one year. Gestation period is 63-68 days, after which two kittens are born and weaned within two months.The kittens are often moved to another hideaway within a week of being born.

Where they are found

Living in open, dry habitat where it blends in with grass and bushes, this small carnivore is also known as the small spotted cat.

Field Notes

The Black-footed cat is strictly nocturnal in the wild and seldom seen, and although difficult to count the numbers it is considered very rare to endangered. The smallest cat in Africa the black-footed Cat does not climb trees but rather spends its time in burrows. Its round and robust shape makes tree climbing awkward.



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