The life cycle of African Wildcats (Felis lybica) can be summarised as follows:
African Wildcat Gestation: 56 - 68 days
African Wildcat Litter Size: 2 - 4 kittens (max 8)
African Wildcat Sub-Adult: 2 - 10 months
African Wildcat Sexual Maturity:
Males and Females 9 - 12 months
African Wildcat Lifespan:
11 years in the wild - 19 years in captivity
African Wildcat facts reference: Wild Cats of the World by Luke Hunter (2015) based on the latest scientific research.
African Wildcat Reproduction
Until recently African Wildcats were grouped with the widespread Wildcat species that occurs across Africa, Asia and Europe. So most of the information pertains to all Wildcat species and not just the African Wildcat, although likely very similar.
Wildcats reproduce seasonally in areas of distinct seasons or throughout the year in mild climates.
Gestation (pregnancy) is around two months and on average two to four kittens are born per litter. In some regions females produce more than one litter in a year.
Wildcat kittens are weaned at two to four months and become independent between two and ten months.
African Wildcat Adults
Both male and female African Wildcat sub-adults become sexually mature between nine and twelve months.
Mortality in the wild is primarily by larger mammalian carnivores and raptors.
Near human occupation wildcats are killed by shooting, snaring, roadkill and domestic dogs.
The lifespan of African Wildcats in the wild has been recorded up to eleven years and up to nineteen years in captivity.
African Wildcat Facts
COMMON NAMES The African Wildcat is also known as the Desert Cat, African Desert Cat or simply Wildcat. In Afrikaans (South Africa) vaalboskat means 'grey bush cat'.
African Wildcat Characteristics
SIZE The African Wildcat is about the same size as a domestic cat.
BODY The African Wildcat looks similar to a short-haired domestic tabby cat, but has relatively longer legs and a long thin, tapering tail.
African Wildcat Range
The African Wildcat is widespread in Africa and extends into the Middle East, but excludes the Sahara and rainforests.
African Wildcats occur in 46 African countries across all five regions.
More about African Wildcat Range >