Big ears tell us that the sand cat relies heavily on sound, and possibly picking up vibrations in the ground, to detect prey. The sand cat has huge ears (the ear flaps or ear pinnae). This small wild cat also has large tympanic bullae. This is the space or cavity behind the ear drum on the other side of the ear canal.
Both these anatomical features indicate specialised hearing. They amplify sounds and possibly allow the cat to detect vibrations. The sand cat relies of sound more than normal to locate prey. Its prey includes: hares, squirrels, gerbils, jerboa, rodents, birds, reptiles, insects and other arthropods.
In addition the ears are low set. This allows the cat to hide better in the desert where there is sparse cover. This cat is the only true desert dwelling wild cat species. It has other specialised anatomy to deal with its habitat such as long, dense fur between its toes to protect from the scorching heat of the sand.