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The black-footed cat is a rare species of wild cat. The word “species” means a particular type or sort of wild cat. This cat is not only rare but very small. It is smaller than your domestic cat. The biggest black-footed cat weighs about five pounds (2.3 kilograms). It is one of the world’s smallest cats. Every year there are less of these cats in the world. This is because the places where they live in Africa are taken over by farmers.
Where they Live
This very small wild cat that looks like a domestic cat lives in the south of the continent of Africa. Africa is made up of many countries. The black-footed cat lives in these countries: South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
It is sometimes called the “anthill tiger” because it makes its home in hollow termite hills.
They like to live in dry, open places where there is almost no water or vegetation like bushes. Like the sand cat, if they have to, they can get all the water they need from the animals they kill and eat (“prey”).
The reason why it is called a “black-footed cat” is because….you guessed it…they have black feet. Their paw pads are black. This is not that unusual on domestic cats, however. Also another small wild cat has black pads on its feet, the African wildcat. The name is a bit confusing for that reason.
They are extremely successful hunters even though they live in place where hunting is hard because there aren’t many places to hide. For every ten animals they chase to attack they will catch and kill 6 (60% success rate). They are very active when hunting and make an attack every 30 minutes. On average they kill every 50 minutes.
The most common prey for this cat is the gerbil. They also eat lizards, insects and other rodents. Although this cat is small it is fierce and can attack animals much larger than itself. It will do all its hunting at night. They spend all day hidden in a termite hill or a burrow made by a porcupine.