This is a page on the African golden cat. It written for children and people who like to read plain English.
The African golden cat is a small species of wild cat. “Species” means a type or sort of wild cat that is different from the others. It is about twice the size of a large domestic cat. It weighs between 8 to 16 kilograms (17 to 35 pounds). You can see from the picture that this cat is not always golden in color. Sometimes it is a sort of grey color. Sometimes the coat is spotted and sometimes not. Underneath the fur is white.
There are even some black African golden cats.
Where The African Golden Cat Lives
This secretive wild cat lives in an area across the middle of Africa just below the Sahara Desert. This area is called “Equatorial Africa” because it is in-line with the earth’s equator (the middle of the earth from top to bottom). In this area there are lots of forests. This cat likes to live in these forests. The forests are called “tropical forests” because they are near the equator. In this area are countries such as Senegal, Gabon, Congo and Kenya. This cat lives in these countries.
This is a very secretive cat. Because of that not much is known about it. It likes to live in all sorts of forest but prefers tropical forest. It probably spends most of its time on the ground but it is possible that it also likes to sleep in trees during the day.
It probably hunts for prey (animals that is needs to eat to survive) in the late evening, nighttime and when the sun comes up. Lots of cats do this because it is both safer and there are animals that come out at night that it can hunt.
The African golden cat feeds on small animals such as small deer, monkeys, birds and rats. You can see a swamp rat in the picture on this page.
This is a “solitary” animal. This means it lives alone and not in a group.
They make typical wild cat sounds. There are about twelve different types of sounds it makes. These include meowing, hissing and growling. It also gurgles sometimes. Gurgling is a sound that small wild cats make when close to other cats.
Cubs – Lifespan
Mothers usually give birth to 2 cubs after being pregnant for 75 days. In a zoo (a captive cat) an African golden cat lived for 12 years. This is slightly shorter than some other wild cats.
Numbers in the Wild
How safe are these cats in the wild where they live? We don’t know how many there are. Although, the number of African golden cats in the wild is going down. The reason for this is:
- Forests are being cut down by people who want to grow crops in their place. The crops are grown to make money.
- Sometimes they are killed for their skin.
- Leopards sometimes kill them.
- Some people like to eat the African golden cat. That might surprise you.