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African Golden Cat

African golden cat. Photo: Johannes Pfleiderer

The African Golden cat is a small to medium-sized wild cat species living in the African forests. It lives in sub-Saharan areas of the continent on the west side as shown in the map below. In short they live in tropical central and western Africa, including the Congo Republic and Uganda.

Map by Michael based on IUCN Red List

They are adapted to hot humid forests. They sleep in trees during daytime and hunt at dawn and dusk i.e. they are crepuscular like many other wild cat species. They are secretive and little is known about their population size but they are in danger because of extensive habitat destruction occurring throughout Africa. This is increasing as there is an increased need for precious metals for car batteries and high tech devices. This necessitates mining which leads to forest destruction.


This cat is about twice as big as a domestic cat. They have variable coats but most often it is a golden colour as indicated by the cat's name. Black and grey cats have also been recorded. The coat is slightly spotted with a paler underside. The tail is medium in length. They are solitary hunters. They stalk prey on the ground and in the trees. Their main diet consists of birds, monkeys and tree-hyraxes in the trees and on the ground they hunt rodents, small antelopes and duikers.

The length of head plus body is 69 cm to 90 cm (25.5 inches to 35.5 inches). Their weight varies between 5 kg and 12 kg which is 11 to 26.5 pounds.

Attacks monkeys

Read about an Africa golden cat attacking monkeys by clicking on this link.


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