Saturday 22 October 2011

What cats live in the desert?

Sand cat - Photo by Yinghai

The sand cat, a small wild cat, lives in the sandy desert. In the former Soviet Union they like to occupy desert areas of sparse vegetation and sandy ridges and hills. They can live in areas where there is little vegetation but rarely amongst sand dunes. In Africa they are found in the Sahara where it is flat and open and where tufts of grass grow. The sand cat distribution is fragmented - from the western Sahara to Uzbekistan.

Leopards are very adaptable and will live in a wide range of habitats but not true deserts. The African wildcat is found widely throughout Africa but is absent only from true desert and tropical forest.

The Black-footed cat often sleeps in hollow termite hills. This cat prefers desert habitat with little vegetation. This cat gets all the water it needs from prey; rodents, lizards and insects.

Feral cats will not find the desert to their liking. It takes a specialist cat and feral cats are generalists in terms of prey and survival.

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