Posts Tagged ‘kalahari’

An African Wild cat

January 18th, 2010, posted in Wildlife

An African Wildcat has joined us in the Nyala breeding camp next to the reserve! Although it is only 7 weeks old, it has an instinctive wild cat reaction to us – hissing and spitting when it sees us.

I have a list of “toys” we should make to stimulate its natural hunting instinct and we’ll be learning as we go along, following Pieter’s ability to read animals and all the advice I can get from my sister, a vetinary nurse!

We are on day 2 and so far so cute!

reddish hair on the backs of the ears

The first time I saw an African Wild Cat, was whilst we were on honeymoon in the Kalahari National Park. The African Wild Cats of the Kgalakgadi National Park are fat and worth watching for hours as they stalk and pounce on the readily available “vluit rotte” or Brants whistling rat. Now, to have the privilege of watching a young African Wild cat grow, observe its behaviour and be a part of its life is an honour and just another blessing we as a family have received from living in the African bush.

The African Wild Cat, Felis silvestris is similar in build an form to a domestic cat, variable in colour, but backs of ears rich reddish-brown and its vertical body stripes can be distinct to very faint, great, that helps!!! Ok, so the ear-colour is important!!! It is generally longer in the leg and larger too.

Why it is threatened: in some areas it has bred with domestic and feral cats, so its bloodline needs to be pure! They are primarily nocturnal and its food consists mainly of small rodents and birds are taken readily, occasionally the African Wild Cat will take reptiles and invertebrates, but recordings of mammals up to the size of hares and the young of small antelope have been recorded, making it quite an impressive little hunter!

joshua sits with wild cat