Black footed Cat Description

The black-footed cat is Africa’s smallest cat. An adult weighs about 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs or about half the weight of the average domestic cat). It is one of the world’s smallest cat species (the rusty-spotted cat is probably smaller). At first appearance this diminutive cat looks like a slightly exotic domestic tabby cat. The inky black or brown spots hint at a wildcat, however. They are the kind of spots you see on a serval or serval wild cat to domestic cat hybrid (Savannah cat). Small wildcats make up for their lack of size in fierceness when challenged.

Black-footed cat

The ears are rounded and the eyes large. Although the eyes of the rusty-spotted cat and margay would appear to be slightly larger in proportion to overall size. The tail is banded and has a black tip. It is about half the length of the head and body combined.

The coat’s background color “varies from cinnamon-buff to tawny”. The spots merge to form bands on the legs, neck, the tail as mentioned and on the sides of the face. The double lines on the cheeks almost mirror the rusty colored lines of the rusty-spotted cat.

Black-footed cat

The paw pads are black – hence the name. Apparently the skin is unpigmented. Usually a cat’s skin is pigmented to the same pattern as the fur (note the Shynx cat) . There are no ocelli (light colored spots on the ear flaps). The back of the ears are the same color as the general background coat color.

Black-footed cat description — Reference, quote: Wild Cats Of The World page 76 ISBN-13: 978-0-226-77999-7

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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4 Responses

  1. Janet says:

    I found what information you were searching for… this site is wonderful. Been online since 1991 and know what key words to find information rather quickly.

  2. Janet says:

    Noticed they do not sport the M on the forehead as the domestic cat does.

    • Yes, you are right. There is a modified version of it – a faint vestige. I would have thought the black-footed cat was a tabby cat and have the M mark but scientists never refer to the wild cats as having tabby coats which implies they don’t have tabby coats. It means different genes are at work which is odd to me because the wild cat ancestor of the domestic cat is the Near Eastern Wild Cat. Surely the tabby domestic cat inherited his coat from this wild cat? If you find a definitive answer to that question please leave a comment. Thanks for visiting.

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