The life cycle of caracal cats (Caracal caracal) can be summarised as follows:

Caracal Oestrus: 1 - 6 days

Caracal Gestation: 68 - 81 days

Caracal Litter Size: 2 - 3 kittens (max 6)

Caracal Sub-Adult: 9 - 10 months

Caracal Sexual Maturity: 12 - 16 months (both genders)

Caracal Lifespan: Unknown in the wild - 19 years in captivity

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

Female caracal suckling kittens

Female caracal with young

Caracal Reproduction

Caracal cats reproduce throughout the year with some seasonality in regions with distinct seasons.

Oestrus can last up to a week and gestation (pregnancy) is two to three months.

There are two to three Caracal kittens in a litter and they will stay with the mother until nine to ten months old.

Once independent, young females will start to seek a territory close to the mother but males will disperse widely

Caracal Adults

Both male and female Caracal sub-adults will become sexually mature from a year old and can breed for most of their adult life.

Mortality in the wild is usually due to the killing of adult Caracals by larger carnivores, or of kittens by the smaller carnivores and other predators. On farmlands in southern Africa, Caracals are hunted by landowners as they are perceived to be the cause of livestock losses.

The average lifespan in the wild is estimated at twelve years and Caracals in captivity have been reported living up to nineteen years.

Caracal siblings walking

Caracal Videos

These videos are about the African Caracal Cat also known as the African Lynx or Desert Lynx. This wild cat is well known for its beautiful large, tufted ears as well as its incredible leaping ability when hunting birds.

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Smithsonian Caracal Video - Image

Caracal Information

SCIENTIFIC NAME Caracal caracal

COMMON NAMES African Caracal, African Lynx, Asian Caracal, Persian Lynx, Caracal Lynx, Desert Lynx

More African Caracal Cat Information >

African Caracal Cat

Caracal Description

Caracal Physical Characteristics: SIZE The Caracal is the largest of Africa's smaller cats, weighing between 11 and 20 kgs, and is classed as a 'medium-sized' cat. Males are about 25% larger than the females.

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Caracal Physical Characteristics

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