Sand cat, sand dune cat
Like some other desert animals, sand cats are capable of surviving without drinking - they obtain all the water they need through their food.
F.m. margarita, F.m.harrisoni, F.m.thinobia, F.m.scheffeli.
In captivity, sand cats live for up to 13 years.
Body length: 42-57cm, Tail length: 26-35cm, Shoulder height: unknown, Weight: 2-3kg.
Sand cats have a pale yellow, to grey-brown coat, which is slightly darker on the back and pale on the belly. A bold streak runs across each cheek from the corner of each eye.
The tail is ringed with a black tip. Sand cats have a broad head with large eyes and low-set ears. They have short limbs and dense hair on the soles of the feet. The hair on the feet serves to insulate against the intense heat and cold of their habitat, as well as aiding movement across the sand.
Sand cats range across N Africa and SW Asia (Sahara to Baluchistan).
Sand cats live in the desert and are adapted to extremely arid terrain.
They hunt rodents and occasionally hares, birds and reptiles. They are apparently able to survive without drinking free water, and obtain the moisture they require from their prey.
Sand cats are mainly active at night. They are good diggers which helps when hunting for underground prey and for digging the burrow that they rest in during the day.
Sand cats give birth to 2-4 kittens after a gestation period of 59-63 days. The kittens weigh about 39g at birth.
The IUCN lists the Pakistani subspecies F.m.scheffeli as Lower Risk. Sand cats are on CITES: Appendix II. They face persecution due to the threat they pose to livestock. F.m.scheffeli was not discovered until 1966 but has declined drastically through uncontrolled commercial dealing.