IUCN African Golden Cat Distribution Map
Interactive map of the African Golden Cat's range by the IUCN Red List

African Golden Cat Subspecies

The latest taxonomic revision proposes the same two subspecies that have been recognized in the past, although further research is required:

Caracal aurata aurata - East and Central Africa (minimal spotting on coat)

Caracal aurata celidogaster - West Africa (distinct spotting on coat)

Reference: Kitchener et al. 2017. A revised taxonomy of the Felidae. The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN / SSC Cat Specialist Group.

The African Golden Cat occurs in the tropical forests of equatorial Africa.

It ranges from Senegal, Sierra Leone and Liberia in the west, through the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to a minimal distribution in Uganda and Kenya in the east.

African Golden Cat Distribution in Africa

African Golden Cats occur in 14 African countries mainly in western and central Africa:

North Africa: absent

West Africa: Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone *

Central Africa: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, DR Congo, Gabon

East Africa: Kenya (possible), Uganda

Southern Africa: absent

Reference: Bahaa-el-din, L., Mills, D., Hunter, L. & Henschel, P. 2015. Caracal aurata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T18306A50663128. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T18306A50663128.en. Downloaded on 28 June 2017.
*The country links will take you to an adventure travel website that includes visits to national parks and rural areas in several of their tours. Many of the images show the typical natural environment and wildlife habitat of that country.

African Golden Cat Habitat

African Golden Cats are specialist carnivores restricted to the rainforests of central Africa, and are the only forest-dependent feline of the ten African cats. They are one of the three medium sized African cats that are closely related and predate on similar prey types, however each cat occupies a different habitat and niche, thus avoiding competition.

The IUCN Red List has standardised habitat types globally and the following types are of major importance for African Golden Cats:

  • Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
  • Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland

Vegetation types of secondary importance are:

  • Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
  • Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
Reference: Bahaa-el-din, L., Mills, D., Hunter, L. & Henschel, P. 2015. Caracal aurata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T18306A50663128. See Classification Schemes > Habitats.
African Golden Cat in Forest Habitat
African Golden Cat in Forest Habitat