The life cycle of African Wildcats (Felis lybica) summary:

  • Gestation: 56 - 68 days
  • Litter Size: 2 - 4 kittens (max 8)
  • Sub-Adult: 2 - 10 months
  • Breeding Age: Males and Females 9 - 12 months
  • 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-kitten-near-den ~ Arkive

African Wildcat grooming ~ Arkive

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 stalking in long grass ~ Arkive