Is the black-footed cat dangerous to humans?

Despite the impressive reputation that this diminutive wild cat species has for its hunting prowess, high activity and fearless behaviour, it is not dangerous to humans in terms of causing serious harm for the simple reason that it is too small.

Black-footed cat
The small but fierce black-footed cat. Overall image: MikeB at PoC. Image of cat: in public domain as assessed.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

To the best of my knowledge, there have been no serious attacks by this cat species on humans in the history of the cat and humankind! Unless there was an encounter between a captive black-footed cat and a zookeeper which is distinctly possible but it was unrecorded.


If under some exceptional circumstance, a black-footed cat were to be provoked into defensively attacking a person, there’s no doubt that they could inflict a nasty injury. In that sense, you might argue that they are dangerous to humans.

But this argument applies to pretty well all small wild cat species and the domestic cat. If you provoke a domestic cat too much to the point where they feel they are badly threatened and their survival jeopardised, they will defend themselves with great vigour and commitment. The black footed cat would be no different under the circumstances.


But as you can see in the infographic, on average they are about 15 inches long from head to the end of the body. This is the length from the nose to the beginning of the tail. Females can be around 14 inches (head and body length).

They weigh about 2 kg Which is about 4.5 pounds. This is about half the weight of a domestic cat. This is a very small wild cat species with a big heart who thinks they are a tiger!


They are endemic to Africa where it is or was founded in only three countries: Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. They have a super-high hunting success rate at 60% and burn more energy than any other wild cat species. How do we know? They eat more relatively to body weight than other wild cats.

Voracious appetite

They eat one-third of their body weight per night. If a male human had the same eating characteristics, they’d eat 47 pounds of food per day! The average human eats about 3-5 pounds of food per day! So, in comparison, the black-footed cat eats about 10 times the weight of food that a human eats per day.

It is thought that they have a very high metabolic rate or they are just super-active.

Below are some more articles on small wild cat species.

2 thoughts on “Is the black-footed cat dangerous to humans?”

  1. Hi, Michael! I sent you an email the other day about an unusual kitten- no rush, of course, but I just wanted to make sure you got it.


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