African Wild Cat [Felis silvestris spp.] There are a number of sub species for the African wild Cat.
African wild cats were domesticated by Ancient Egyptians about 6 000 years ago to control the population of rats and mice that were raiding their granaries. Today’s domesticated cats are descendants of the wild cats the Egyptians tamed. They are a rare sight when on a Kruger day safari but they are a wonder to see.
The African Wild Cats were tamed to catch and eat mice and rats so their main diet consists of mice and rats. When food does get scarce, The African wild cat will also feed on small birds and arthropods. Rabbits, hares and small antelope can also fall prey to the wild cat
Mating Season for African Wild Cats are between July and January and the Gestation period lasts about 65 days. Young are born between the months of September and March and there are usually 3 in a litter.
Very little is known about the African Wild Cat as this is a smaller feline species that has not been studies as intensively. The only diference between the African WIld Cat and a domestic cat is the differently coloured ears and much longer legs. The closeness to the domestic cat is so intense that interbreeding can take place. From what can be derved, African Wild Cats are solitary animals outside of breeding season. Their scarceness makes them a treat to see while on a Kruger National Park safari.
Very very few areas have pure stock African Wild Cats, the other Wild Cats are likely bred with domesticated cats. One of the few places where you have a chance to see one is in the Kruger Park during a Kruger Park Safari.
After a gestation period of about 2 months, anywhere from 1 to 6 young are born.
The spoor of the African Wild Cat are very similar to that of the domestic cat.