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African Golden Cat Ecology and Behavior

It should be said that not enough is known about this cat to describe its behavior with absolute certainty. The African golden cat shares habitat with the larger leopard. This dictates available prey to an extent.

Habitat

The African golden cat is a forest dwelling cat. This cat lives in a wide variety of forest habitats. It's short tail indicates that it is a ground dweller, however. This cat prefers forest habitat along rivers "including mangrove and alpine bamboo forests". It can be found in montane forest and at elevations of 3,000 meters above sea level.

Prey

The African golden cat hunts at dawn and dusk (crepuscular activity). In research studies its prey items normally include small mammals and birds.

Average weight of prey items: 1.4 kgs; of which birds represent 18% (plucked).

Examples of prey are as follows:

Ruwenzort Mountains (East Africa): groove tooth rats, swamp rats, hyraxes and duikers.

Ituri Forest, Congo: 6.7% of 60 samples showed dwarf or pygmy antelope. 25% of samples showed a diet of blue duiker and 1.7% of samples showed bay duiker. The duiker is a medium-sized antelope. Overall: small to medium sized rodents make up 70% of prey.

Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, Central African Republic: 23.5% of the diet was blue duiker from 17 samples.

Other prey of this wild cat are:
  • monkeys
  • birds
  • livestock including goats, chickens and sheep
  • guinea fowl
  • francolins (a bird)
Social Organization

Solitary cat. Little is known. All cats keep home ranges and protect it with scent marking and scraps. Feces are left uncovered as a scent mark. Vocalizations are unknown but will include the usual hiss, meow, growl and purr.

Reproduction

Study on reproduction is from observing captive cats:
  • Female came into estrus at aged 11 months.
  • Gestation: 75 days.
  • Two litters of two cubs observed.
  • Newborns weigh 180-235 grams while at 40 days old they are able to chew chicken flesh.

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