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Africa Geographic Travel

Although this action-packed video was first shared online over a year ago, when it popped up again on Lion Mountain TV’s YouTube Channel, we just couldn’t help but share it. It’s amazing what can happen within seconds in the bush!


And here are 10 fascinating facts that we bet you didn’t know about the African wildcat:

1. The coat of the African wildcat can be varied in colour from grey-tan varieties, to a darker steel grey or slight red. The coat markings can also be extremely different with stripes or a more spotted look. The lighter colour variants are typically found in desert environments such as the Kgalagadi, while the darker coloured and spotted cats find their home in forested areas.

2. A wildcat can normally only sees 10-14 days after being born, as this is when its eyes will open. However, by 5 months old they are already independent and at 11 months are sexually mature.

3. The greatest threats to the African wildcat are humans as the wildcat is often seen as vermin and is persecuted as such, as well as the hybridisation of the species with domestic cats. Today, pure genetic stock of the African wildcat only occurs in very remote areas. Although their ancestors are similar in appearance to a domestic cat, the wildcat is more robust than its cuddly counterpart and has longer hind legs.

4. The ancient Egyptians can be credited with domesticating the African wildcats. The ancient kingdom used the cats to catch rodents in granaries – evidence of which is recorded on the walls of tombs.

5. African wildcats feed primarily on small rodents but their diet also includes birds, arthropods and even occasionally small antelope.

© Daniele Colombo
Africa Geographic Travel
Africa Geographic Editorial

We're the Africa Geographic editorial team – a diverse set of editors, designers and social media natives, all united by our passion for this addictive continent.