African Golden Cat Key Facts

*   Endemic to Africa   *   Fur lies forward on head & neck   *   Very few studies   *

African Golden Cat (Caracal aurata)
African Golden Cat Drinking by Terry Whittaker

African Golden Cat Information

SCIENTIFIC NAME Caracal aurata

NAME ORIGIN The Golden Cat gets the name from its reddish coat. The full common name is the African Golden Cat which distinguishes it from the similar Asian Golden Cat. There are no other English common names, although the greyish form used to be called the Silver Cat, until it was established they were in fact the same species.

CONSERVATION STATUS: Vulnerable (Global). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. <>.

Note that within each country the conservation status can differ to the global status.

IDENTIFICATION The African Golden Cat has a stocky build with a short tail and the coat varies from reddish to grey.

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BEHAVIOR The solitary African Golden Cat feeds mainly on rodents and birds, and is active at dawn and dusk (crepuscular) and at night (nocturnal).

LIFE CYCLE From the few African Golden Cats that have been kept in captivity, gestation (pregnancy) is 75 days with two kittens in a litter and weaning at about six weeks.

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Video: Elusive Golden Cat Filmed - by National Geographic
African Golden Cat Distribution Map
African Golden Cat Distribution Map
Reproduced with permission from the book Cats of Africa

African Golden Cat Distribution

The African Golden Cat occurs in the tropical forests of equatorial Africa from Senegal, Sierra Leone and Liberia in the west, through Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to a minimal distribution in Uganda and Kenya in the east.


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Further Information about African Golden Cats