Sand Cat Facts

Sand Cat Facts
Sand cat is the only species of cat that inhabits deserts exclusively. There are 4 subspecies of sand cat that can be found in northern parts of Africa and south-eastern parts of Asia. Sand cats live in sandy and stony deserts such as Sahara, Arabian desert and deserts in Pakistan and Iran. Number of sand cats decreased drastically in the past couple of decades due to habitat loss, poaching, recreational hunt and introduction of new species (which compete for the prey and spread diseases). Sand cat is listed as nearly threatened which means that it may become endangered in the near future.
Interesting Sand Cat Facts:
Sand cat is small animal that can reach 16 to 18 inches in length and 4 to 8 pounds in weight. Tail is usually 9 to 12 inches long.
Sand cat is beige, light brown or grey in color. Legs are covered with black stripes. Ears are black on the tops. Reddish line runs from the corner of the eyes down to the cheeks. Color of the body provides camouflage.
Sand cat has large head and eyes. Pointed ears are positioned on the side of the head. Excellent sense of hearing facilitates finding of food.
Paws are covered with dense fur which prevents burns on the feet when cat walks on the hot sand.
Thanks to the furry paws, sand cats don't leave footprints in the sand.
Sand cats are active during the night (nocturnal animals) to avoid high temperatures (above 52 degrees of Celsius) during the day.
Sand cat is carnivore (meat-eaters). Its diet consists of small rodents, insects, birds, lizards and snakes.
Sand cat hides leftovers of food in the sand.
Sand cats can survive without water long period of time (couple of months). They absorb required moisture from the food they eat.
Main predators of sand cats are wild dogs, snakes, birds of prey and humans.
Sand cat is very vocal animal. It is able to meow, growl, hiss, purr and bark.
Unlike other species of cats, sand cat is poor climber and jumper but proficient digger. It digs burrows in the sand where it hides from the harsh desert sun.
Sand cat is a solitary creature that gathers with other sand cats two times per year, during the mating season (in March-April and October). Bark-like calls are used to attract the partner.
Pregnancy in females lasts 59 to 63 days and ends with 2 to 4 kittens. At the age of 5 weeks, young sand cats will include solid food in the diet. They are ready for independent life after 6 to 8 months. Sand cat reaches sexual maturity at the age of 10 to 12 months.
Sand cats can survive up to 13 years in captivity, but they rarely live that long. 41% of captive kittens never reach adulthood.

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