The Black-footed Cat (Felis nigripes) is the second smallest cat species in the world and the smallest African cat, weighing a maximum of only 2.5 kgs. The coat is covered with small dark spots and the cat has a short face similar to domestic cats.
The Black-footed Cat is named after the black undersides of its feet and it is also called the Small Spotted Cat after its tiny size and spotted coat.
In Afrikaans (South Africa) the cat is called a miershooptier, which means "Anthill Tiger", as it often makes its den in abandoned termite mounds (ant hills) and has a ferocious demeanour.
The Black-footed Cat lives in the semi-arid regions of southern Africa and obtains all its moisture from its food, requiring minimal to no drinking water.
Image: Black-footed Cat by Gerald Hinde from the book Cats of Africa with permission.
* Smallest African cat *
* Endemic to Southern Africa *
* No drinking water *
Black-Footed Cat (Felis nigripes) Fact Sheet
This summary fact sheet is available as a one page or two page pdf and is based on these references. Follow the buttons to more detailed information on each topic. Permission is granted to use the fact sheets for personal or educational use - kindly credit www.CatsForAfrica.co.za.
NAME & STATUS
Small Spotted Cat
IUCN Red List Status
DIET / PREY
Major to Minor by Weight
Mammals - small rodents
Scavenge - Yes
Hunting Success Rate
Inhabits burrows or anthills
Avg Range Size
Females 8.6 km²
Males 16.1 km²
Density 16.7 cats / 100 km²
Further InformationThe following professional organizations have further information on Black-footed Cats:
- Conservation Status - IUCN Red List
- Detailed Account - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
- Academic Literature pdf - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
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