ANIMALS These small cats are difficult to observe since they come out of their burrows only to hunt at dusk when temperatures are cooler in the desert.
As its name suggests, the sand cat lives in the desert. — Vladislav T. Jirousek/Shutterstock
Sand cats are encountered sporadically in the Sahara desert in North Africa, near the coast. across the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Pakistan.
These felines rely, among other things, on their small size and their color to camouflage themselves in the meadows where they live. natural hiding places are rare. This species is less territorial than most other cats since the males share their burrows and are quite calm in nature. Sand cats are solitary and females give birth alone.
A suitable body; to their environment
Sand cats are short-legged, have relatively large heads and broad noses. They are well protected from the desert heat thanks to their long fur covering their pads which allow them to walk on the hot sand. Their ears are large and set low; they are capable of detecting ultrasound emitted by rodents but inaudible to the human ear. Indeed, being carnivores, sand cats mainly eat small desert rodents such as jerboas, but also birds, lizards and invertebrates. They don’t need to live permanently at home. proximity a source of drinking water, as they get the water they need from their diet.
The sand cat weighs less than a domestic cat. – Pete Gallop/Shutterstock
A Dangerous Life
The sand cat is tracked down by many predators, including poisonous snakes, birds of prey and wolves. However, the man remains the most important threat to him. Human activities reduce its territory, the presence of livestock decreases the available vegetation on which small mammals feed, while domestic dogs and cats compete with the cat sables for prey and can transmit disease to it.
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