Arabian sand cat
Animals in Africa
Arabian sand cats are on the first impression quite similar to a house cat, but when you look closely you will see a lot of distinctions.
The sand cat lives in the desert and very dry and rocky areas in North Africa, Israel and Arabia. It has perfectly adapted to areas which can be both really hot and cold. In the desert temperatures can go up to 50 degrees at daytime and around 0 degrees at night.
The sand cat's coat is sandy with darker tones on the back and a light stomach, which almost makes it disappear in its surroundings. This perfect disguise is important, since the sand cat is not bigger than an ordinary house cat. There are a lot of predators like eagles, wolves and jackals that would love a sand cat as prey.
In summer, when temperatures are peaking at their highest, the sand cat will hunt at night. In vinter it is the opposite. Sand cats are loners, just like almost every other cat. They are only meeting other sand cats during breeding season in march and april.
A sand cats food consists primarily of small rodents like mice or desert rats. It also catches birds, scorpions, spiders, snakes, lizards and other desert animals.
The undersite of its paws are protected with fur, which protects the cat when walking on very hot or cold ground. It also provides the cat with a certain grip on the sand.
Sand cats are very shy and live in areas that are hard to explore. In fact there are very few recordings of sand cats in the wild, which makes it challenging for scientists to give an estimation of the populations quantity. Though what we do know is that humans are intruding their habitats and spreading diseases which might have a big negative influence on this shy desert cat.
Arabian sand cat
"...Did you know that sand cats have 2 cm long hair on their soles to protect their paws from the hot desert sand?"
On the map you can find where the different animal feedings take place