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

African Golden Cat Gestation: 75 days

African Golden Cat Litter Size: 2

African Golden Cat Sexual Maturity:

Females 11 months

Males 18 months

African Golden Cat Lifespan: Unknown in the wild - 12 years in captivity

African Golden Cat facts reference: Wild Cats of the World by Luke Hunter (2015) based on the latest scientific research.

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.


African Golden Cat Distribution

The African Golden Cat occurs mostly in the tropical forests of equatorial Central Africa from Senegal in the west, through CAR and DRC with a minimal distribution in East Africa.

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African Golden Cat Distribution Map

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.

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African Golden Cat by T Whittaker

African Golden Cat Description

African Golden Cat Physical Characteristics: SIZE The African Golden Cat (Caracal aurata) is one of the three medium sized African cats, on average being smaller than the Caracal and heavier (but not taller) than the Serval.

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African Golden Cat Physical Characteristics


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