The life cycle of African Golden Cats (Caracal aurata) is poorly known, and the few records are from captive cats:

  • Gestation: 75 days
  • Kitten: litter size 2
  • Adults:
    • Females 11 months
    • Males 18 months
  • Lifespan: Unknown in the wild - 12 years in captivity

The three main stages of development are kitten, sub-adult or juvenile and adult. In general, young of the smaller wild cats are called 'kittens' and young of the big cats are called 'cubs'; so Lion, Leopard and Cheetah 'cubs' but African Golden Cat 'kittens'.

Silver coloured African Golden Cat

African Golden Cat (Caracal aurata)

African Golden Cat Reproduction

African Golden Cats are very difficult to study in their habitat of dense forests of Central Africa, so there is minimal research on these cats.

From the few cats that have been kept in captivity - gestation (pregnancy) is two and a half months with two kittens in a litter and weaning is at six weeks. Female sexual maturity is at eleven months and males at eighteen months with a lifespan of up to twelve years. 

Natural mortality of African Golden Cats by leopard predation has been recorded; and accidental or intentional poaching for the bushmeat trade are human-induced causes of mortality.

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