The life cycle of Black-footed Cats (Felis nigripes) can be summarised as follows:

Black-footed Cat Gestation: 63 - 68 days

Black-footed Cat Litter Size: 1 - 2 kittens (max 4)

Black-footed Cat Sub-Adult: 3 - 4 months

Black-footed Cat Sexual Maturity:

Females 7 months - Males 9 months

Black-footed Cat Lifespan:

8 years in the wild - 16 years in captivity

Reference: Wild Cats of the World by Luke Hunter (2015) based on the latest scientific research.

Black-footed Cat with Kittens

Black-footed Cats at Den

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 Cat Adults

Black-footed Cat sub-adults become sexually mature from seven months in females and nine months for males.

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.

Male Black-footed Cat

Black-footed Cat Facts

Black-footed Cat (Felis nigripes)

SCIENTIFIC NAME Felis nigripes

NAME ORIGIN The Black-footed Cat is named after the black undersides of its feet. It is also called the Small Spotted Cat.

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Black-footed Cat Characteristics

Black-footed Cat Physical Characteristics

SIZE The Black-footed Cat is one of the smallest cat species in the world, less than half the size of an average domestic cat.

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Black-footed Cat Range

Black-footed Cat Distribution MapThe Black-footed Cat is endemic to southern Africa and found only in the semi-arid parts of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

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