How do sand cats get water?

Simple: sand cats get sufficient water from their prey animals to survive without drinking free-standing water for most of the year. We should remind ourselves that the prey of the sand cat is made up of between 70%-80% water. Humans are about 60% water. A couple of researchers: WG Heptner and AA Sludskii in their book Mammals of the Soviet Union describe one captive sand cat fed fresh rodents and birds refusing fresh water for 2 months. Although another captive sand cat drank water freely.

Sand cat in Karakum Desert

Sand cat in Karakum Desert. Image: MikeB.

In the wild they will drink water if it is available which is taking a common-sense approach! But they can live without water as they must because they are confined to areas of sandy desert. In the former Soviet Union, the sand cat thrives, it is said, in desert areas “especially among the sparsely vegetated ridges and sandy hillocks where gerbils are common, according to Heptner and Sludskii.

This cat’s anatomy and behavior enables it to live in air temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius in the Karakum Desert, for example. In winter the temperature can be as low as -25 degrees Celsius. It will retreat into burrows during inhospitable conditions and it has a thick coat while the hair on its feet protect against scorching sand and makes it easier to traverse the soft sand.

Below are some more articles on this extraordinary wild cat species. In the wild they are very approachable and seem to be fearless of humans but in captivity they can be more aggressive. I would not expect the sand cat to make a pet despite their reputedly implacable behavior when approached by humans in the wild because they’d be living in an unsettling human environment.

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important
Sand cat discovered in 1856 by Victor Loche who described the species in this book.

When and where was the sand cat discovered?

The sand cat was discovered in 1856 by Captain Victor Loche at Ngouca in the sand dunes of eastern Algeria ...
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Sand cat has a home range of up to 1,758 square kilometers

A study has come to the astonishing conclusion that the diminutive sand cat, about the size of a small domestic ...
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Do cats have the quickest reflexes of all land-based mammals?

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Sand cat range – where you can find this cat 2022

This page has been updated on May 15, 2022. You need to do this with articles about the distribution of ...
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Sand cat – comprehensive page (2022)

The origin of the scientific name of the sand cat is interesting.  This cat species was discovered by Capt. Victor ...
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Are sand cats legal in California?

The thing about sand cats is that they look like domestic cats. They look very cute and their appearance gives ...
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Sand cat meows when presented with a sprig of catnip

Do sand cats meow?

On the basis that the feline meow is quite a variable sound even among domestic cats, I think that we ...
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Prophet Muhammad and sand cats

There is a connection between the Prophet Muhammad and the diminutive sand cat (Felis margarita). Muslim tradition has it that ...
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Sand cat and her kittens

Are sand cats dangerous to humans?

People ask whether sand cats are dangerous to humans. You have to provide a common-sense answer. If we accept that ...
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How a diminutive sand cat killed a sand viper 40 centimetres long

People ask whether the sand cat can kill snakes and the answer is very positively, yes. They are incredibly adept ...
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Picture of a newborn baby sand cat

This is a photograph provided by KTVB-TV Boise of a newborn sand cat, born at Zoo Boise on April 4, ...
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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

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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