Black-footed Cat with Kittens

The life cycle of Black-footed Cats (Felis nigripes) has the following phases:

  • Gestation: 63 - 68 days
  • Kitten: birth to 3 months
    • Litter Size: 1 - 2 kittens (max 4)
  • Sub-Adult: 3 - 4 months
  • Adult:¬†Females 7 months - Males 9 months
  • Lifespan:¬†8 years in the wild - 16 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 Black-footed Cat 'kittens'.

Black-footed Cat Reproduction

Black-footed Cats reproduce seasonally with mating during winter and births during spring and summer (Southern Hemisphere).

Gestation (pregnancy) is around two months and on average one to two kittens are born per litter. A female may have a second litter within a year should the first litter not survive.

Black-footed Cat kittens become independent at three to four months.

Black-footed Cats at Den

Male Black-footed Cat

Black-footed Cat Adults

Black-footed Cat females can breed from seven months and males from nine months of age.

Mortality in the wild is mostly by other larger carnivores and raptors, and by domestic dogs near human settlements.

The lifespan of Black-footed Cats has been recorded up to eight years in the wild, and cats in captivity have lived up to sixteen years.

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