Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sand Cats - Desert-Dwelling Felines

The sand cat is one of the smallest members of Felis genus, which includes domestic cats and wildcats. Weighing between three and eight pounds, sand cats somewhat resemble small domestic cats but have wider heads and larger ears.
Sand cats can only be found in the Arabian Desert, the Sahara, and hot and dry areas of Iran and Pakistan. They spend their days in underground burrows, coming out after dusk to hunt small rodents, birds, lizards and insects. The sand cat gets all of the water it requires to survive from its prey and has no need to live close to a water source.

Unlike most felines, sand cats are not territorial and may even switch burrows with other sand cats on occasion. They live extremely solitary lives, only socializing with each other during the mating season. 
 Sand cats are known to be docile and unafraid of humans. Hunting of these cats is prohibited in many areas of their range, as their population is declining. However, they do still face threats from humans in unprotected areas as well as predation by wolves, snakes and large birds of prey. The sand cat’s average lifespan in the wild is unknown, but they can live up to 13 years in captivity. 

No comments: