African Wildcat Print
African Wildcat Print

These videos are about the African Wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica / Felis lybica). These African wild cats are the ancestors of our domestic cats and they look very much like an ordinary tabby cat. However African Wildcats have a distinctive reddish colouring on the backs of their ears, the underside of the body and on the hind legs. They are also slimmer, have longer legs and high shoulder blades which give them a distinctive gait that differs from domestic cats.

These video clips are all taken in the wild in Africa, some are from professional wildlife documentaries and others are amateur footage of exceptional sightings.

(We prefer to use the spelling 'Wildcat' to distinguish this as a cat species and avoid confusion with the general term 'wild cat'.)

More information about African Wildcats, African Wildcat characteristics and African Wildcat distribution in Africa.

Main reference for this page: Chapter Wildcat from Wild Cats of the World by Luke Hunter - on our list of recommended books on wild cats.

Lion Mountain TV: African Wildcat attacked by Tawny Eagle in Namibia.

The African Wildcat diet consists mainly of rodents and lagomorphs (hares and rabbits) followed by birds, and in particular ground foraging birds such as doves and pigeons. African Wildcat predators include the larger wild cats and large raptors. This clip shows an African Wildcat's amazing leaping ability in hunting Cape Turtle Doves, but then the cat gets attacked itself by a Tawny Eagle.

BBC Earth: African Wildcat brings prey to her kitten in the Serengeti.

African Wildcats breed seasonally in climates of extreme seasonal temperatures such as in the desert regions, but elsewhere in milder climates they breed throughout the year, with a peak during the rainy season in eastern and southern Africa. There are usually two to four kittens in a litter and one female can produce multiple litters in a year.

In this video clip an African Wildcat female catches a live mouse to teach her kitten how to hunt.

BBC Earth: African Wildcat pair disturbed by a mongoose and a caracal in the Serengeti.

As with most wild cat species, African Wildcats live a solitary existence and adults only interact during mating or territorial fighting. Males have large ranges (Kalahari average 7.7km²) that overlap with a number of female territories (Kalahari average 3.5km²).

In this video clip an African Wildcat male is attempting to mate with a female, but keeps getting disturbed by passing wildlife.

BATB1000: Sighting of African Wildcats with kittens in the Kgalagadi National Park.

"A very rare sighting of not only one but two adult African Wildcats attending a litter of three small kittens in the Kgalagadi National Park."

Nico Boulder: Male African Wild Cat, Kgalagadi.

This video shows the distinct markings and characteristic gait of African Wildcats. The coat has faint vertical stripes on the body, with dark rings on the legs as well as on the black-tipped tail. The chin and throat are white and the chest is usually paler than rest of body. There is a distinctive reddish colouring on the belly, backs of the ears and hind legs. Also notice the dark under-soles of the feet which can sometimes cause naming confusion with the Black-Footed Cat which is a totally different species.