Black-footed cat, small-spotted cat
These small, African cats are highly unsociable. Like desert cats, they do not need to drink water, and obtain sufficient moisture from their diet.
Black-footed cats live for 10-12 years.
Body length: 34-50cm, Tail length: 15-22cm, Shoulder height: about 25cm, Weight: male: 1.6-2.1kg, female: 1.2kg.
They have short round heads with a distinct step from the forehead to the nose. The coat is light brown to reddish-yellow, with dark spots on the body and two streaks across each cheek. They have wide black rings on the upper legs and black patches on the underside of their feet.
Black-footed cats are found in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
They occupy steppe and savannah regions.
Black-footed cats hunt small rodents, insects, spiders, birds and reptiles. They have also been observed eating bird eggs. They sometimes cache large carcasses in hollows, returning to feed every few hours. Black-footed cats are thought to be water-independent.
These cats are mainly nocturnal and highly unsocial. During the day they rest in old burrows or in rocky crevices.
Females give birth to 1-3 kittens after a gestation period of 63-68 days. The kittens weigh 60-84g at birth.
Black-footed cats are on CITES: Appendix I and are listed on the IUCN Red List as vulnerable. The threats to their survival include indiscriminate methods of predator control, habitat destruction and depletion of prey.