Other localized threats include the introduction of feral and domestic dogs and cats, creating direct competition and through predation and disease transmission (Nowell and Jackson 1996). I have a sand cat named seia sand. In 2018, several sand cats were observed resting in brown-necked raven nests built in umbrella thorn acacia trees in the Moroccan Sahara. Sand Cat Facts & Trivia for kids Sand Cats can make short sprints where there reach speeds up to 25mph. Interesting Sand Cat Facts: Sand cat is small animal that can reach 16 to 18 inches in length and 4 to 8 pounds in weight. Males are larger than females. Hunting is prohibited in Algeria, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, and Tunisia. Your email address will not be published. The ears are tawny at the base and tipped with black, and more pointed than those of the Pallas's cat (Otocolobus manul). Sightings in Egypt's rocky Western and Eastern Deserts date to the mid 1980s. How rare is this cat? Sand cats are difficult to find for predators and researchers … This actually occurred as a result of one being seen in the Sahara, quite by accident. They retired below ground at dawn and stayed in the burrow during the day. It migrated into Africa possibly during Pleistocene glaciation events. [48] Between March 2014 and July 2016, sand cats were also observed at elevations of 900–1,100 m (3,000–3,600 ft) in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, foremost in black saxaul dominated habitat. Their presence in Pakistan is unknown. [24], Its skull is arched in lateral outline with wide zygomatic arches. It prefers flat or undulating terrain with sparse vegetation of grasses or small bushes; it avoids bare and shifting sand dunes, where little prey is available. [22] It communicates using scent and scratch marks on objects in its range and by urine spraying. Vulnerable arid ecosystems are being rapidly degraded by human settlement and activity, especially livestock grazing (Allan and Warren 1993, Al-Sharhan et al. [43], In southern Israel's Arabah Valley, four sand cats were radio-collared and tracked over a few months in the late 1980s. Sand cats are a solitary species and not much is known of their mating systems. [21] The Pakistan sand cat is a subspecies of the sand cat found in the deserts of Pakistan. IUCN: Insufficiently known (F.m. 1. [30] Adults reach up to 22.4 inches in length and weigh up to 7.5 lbs. Distribution: From the Sahara through the Middle East to Turkestan. Family: Felidae In Asia, they have been recorded in Syria, Iran, east of the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Your go to site for sand cat info. Embed this Random Sand Cat Fact. These burrows were either abandoned by foxes or porcupines, or dug by gerbils or other rodents. In spring, the female gives birth to two to three kittens, which become sexually mature around the age of one year. The Cat Classification Task Force of the Cat Specialist Group reviewed the existing information and in 2017 recognized only two subspecies, namely:[15], Phylogenetic analysis of the nuclear DNA in tissue samples from all Felidae species revealed that the evolutionary radiation of the Felidae began in Asia in the Miocene around 14.45 to 8.38 million years ago. [39] The large gap between these two regions of its global range was partially closed in 1948, when a sand cat skin was found in an oasis of the Rub' al Khali in Oman. Their long tail is tipped with black and has two to three dark rings that alternate with a buff coat. To date, it has been recorded in several disjunct locations in Morocco, Algeria, Niger, Chad and Egypt. There are occasional reports of animals shot in south-east Arabia (M. Strauss pers. These small cats are primarily nocturnal and solitary. © Copyright 2021 BigCatRescue.Org. They may share burrows but never occupy the same burrow at the same time. They also bury all of their excrement making it impossible to find and analyze so their diet can be studied. [65], Since the mid 1960s, sand cats were captured in Pakistan for trade and export to Europe, until the Pakistani government rejected issuing permits in 1974. The lesser-known fact about a sand cat is it hunts by digging. F.m. All Rights Reserved. The subspecies in Africa is generally smaller than its Asian counterpart. The sand cat is the only wild cat that is not threatened with loss of habitat since it is found in the desert. In Uzbekistan, desert habitat is being degraded through the uprooting of shrubs for use as a substrate for silk worm cocoons and for firewood, which lead to an increase of drifting sand. [3] This holotype specimen appears to have been lost. It makes loud, high-pitched and short rasping sounds, especially when seeking a mate. This feature makes the cat's tracks obscure and difficult to identify and follow. Sand cats are a pale tan or sandy color (to match all the sand of course), with some dark spots or stripes on their fur. Burrows with two or three entrances have also been observed. [2] Mr. Cat. [6] In the 20th century, the following zoological specimens of sand cats were described: In 1974, F. m. margarita, F. m. thinobia and F. m. scheffeli were temporarily recognized as valid taxa. The Pakistan sand cat is a subspecies of the sand cat found in the deserts of Pakistan. The ears are reddish-brown and black-tipped. Their primary diet consists of 3 species of gerbils. Sand Cats live mostly solitary lives. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Please enter your username or email address to reset your password. Its vocalizations are similar to those of the domestic cat. There are dark brown to blackish bars on the limbs, and the tail has a black tip with two or three dark rings alternating with buff bands. Two populations exist, one that is hybridized and another derived from an Israeli population. … It is one of few wild cat species that occupies true desert habitat. [13], Its way of moving is distinct: with its belly close to the ground, it moves at a fast run punctuated with occasional leaps. Its 5–7 cm (2.0–2.8 in) long ears are set low on the sides of the head, aiding detection of prey moving underground. F.m. [56] Since 2002, it is considered locally extinct in the country, as it has not been recorded since the turn of the century. [5] The long hairs growing between its toes create a cushion of fur over the foot pads, helping to insulate them while moving over hot sand. File this one under practical cat facts! It makes loud, high-pitched and short rasping sounds, especially when seeking a mate. [3] Markings vary between individuals: some have neither spots nor stripes, some are faintly spotted, some have both spots and stripes. Today we decided to share with you the 10 most interesting facts about sand cats. Markings. Required fields are marked *. In addition, this rather fascinating small feline species was first identified in 1858. Welcome to Sand Cat Facts. At the time, it was considered possible that sand cats eventually recorded in Afghanistan and Iran might constitute distinct subspecies. The Sand Cat (Felis margarita) is a small wild cat that is uniquely adapted to its desert habitat. [64], Sand cats have also been caught for the pet trade in the United Arab Emirates and in Iraq. Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata) Cat Facts changed my life- I quit my job and started learning to speak cat. The head-and-body length ranges from 39–52 cm (15–20 in). Species: margarita Several captive-born individuals from the zoo's population were kept in an acclimatization enclosure, but did not survive subsequent release into the wild. [69] In July 2012, four sand cat kittens were born at the Ramat Gan Zoo as part of the European Endangered Species Programme. [56] They were observed preying on jirds (Meriones), Cairo spiny mouse (Acomys cahirinus), desert lark (Ammomanes deserti), and small reptiles. I'm doing a report and this is some good information. They easily adapt to the cold and hot desert environment because of the thick fur on their feet. [59], The captive population kept in the European Endangered Species Programme is offspring of 18 founders that originated almost exclusively on the Arabian Peninsula. The kittens weigh 39 to 80 g (1.4 to 2.8 oz) at birth, and have spotted pale yellow or reddish fur. It also includes birds, reptiles and arthropods. [40] In winter, sand cats stay in the sun during the day, but during the hot season, they are crepuscular and nocturnal. [37], Felis margarita is listed on CITES Appendix II. Size and Appearance: Sand Cats weigh in at 4-8 pounds and reach lengths of 29-36 inches, and heights of 10-12 inches. [51], In Central Asia, the sand cat was known to occur up to the late 1960s in the Karakum Desert from the Ustyurt Plateau in the northwest to the Kopet Dag Mountains in the south, and from the Kyzylkum Desert to the Syr Darya River and the northern border to Afghanistan. ", "How Prey Density and Distribution Can Affect Predator Habitat Usage Pattern: a Case Study on Sand Cat (Felis margarita, Locke 1858) from Iran", "Insights into the feeding ecology of and threats to Sand Cat, "Evaluating ex situ conservation projects: Genetic structure of the captive population of the Arabian sand cat", "Application of assisted reproduction for population management in felids: The potential and reality for conservation of small cats", "Rare Sand Kittens Born in Israel After Years of Rumored Extinction", "Sand cats photographed in the Moroccan Sahara", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sand_cat&oldid=1008426524, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 23 February 2021, at 07:14. DANGEROUS LIVING. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a6aaf83a8edee2e4c86326081be4c08d" );document.getElementById("h3b97b2537").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. In spring 2013 and 2014, adult sand cats with kittens were photographed in the southern Kyzylkum Desert, indicating that the population is breeding. They died primarily due to maternal neglect by first-time mothers. [45] Just choose a page at the top and learn about the sand cat. A layer of thick fur on the sand cat’s paws provides protection from the hot desert sand. [54] [23] The undersides of its paws are protected from extreme temperatures by a thick covering of fur. The Sand cat has a low-set body, with a broad head and a large nose. In the Ténéré Desert, sand cats were observed in the 1980s and between 2008 and 2015. Arabian Sand Cat Facts Most notably, the fabulous Arabian Sand Cat also remains quite popular as the sand dune cat. Felid TAG recommendation: Sand cat (Felis margarita). They also have two stripes on their front legs and entrancing eyes, making it obvious they are not ordinary cats. [59] The life expectancy of wild sand cats has not been documented. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. If they caught more than they could eat, they buried the remains for later consumption. Gestation is 59-63 days, after which females produce a litter of 2-4 kittens. It is the size of a domestic cat and the smallest of wild cats. The sand cat (Felis margarita), also known as the sand dune cat, is a small wild cat that inhabits sandy and stony desertsfar from water sources. [2], The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo started a sand cat reintroduction project in Israel's Arabah Desert. The sand cat (Felis margarita), also known as the sand dune cat, is a small wild cat that inhabits sandy and stony deserts far from water sources. Your email address will not be published. (Garman, 1997; "Sand Cat", 2002) Sand cats in captivity breed more than once a year. It has large ears and a broad head, and a reddish streak that runs from its eyes across its cheeks. Size and Appearance: Sand Cats weigh in at 4-8 pounds and reach lengths of 29-36 inches, and heights of 10-12 inches. Sand cat is small animal that can reach 16 to 18 inches in length and 4 to 8 pounds in weight. [36] Because their populations are so few, they have a loud mating call, which resembles the barking of a small dog. thinobia – Turkestan In Saudi Arabia, one of 17 wild-caught sand cats was tested positive for feline leukaemia virus. In Iran, vulnerable arid ecosystems are being rapidly degraded by human settlement and activity, especially livestock grazing. I love this animal ther are so cute and fun to learn about. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Their big … They begin to take solid food at 5 weeks and become independent by 3-4 months. A female sand cat moved in an area of 13.4 km2 (5.2 sq mi) during six days, and two males had home ranges of 21.8 and 35.3 km2 (8.4 and 13.6 sq mi). At first, Lowe had trouble convincing his local pet store to sell the product. Hunting and Diet: Primarily nocturnal, they hunt by digging. [11], In Central Asia, the sand cat's winter coat is very long and thick, with hairs reaching up to 2 in (5.1 cm) in length. [53] It is widely but not contiguously distributed in the deserts of North Africa, Southwest and Central Asia. They are also known for being snake hunters, which they kill with a rapid blow to the head that stuns, and then administer the death bite to the neck. They are mainly small cats with short legs, broad head, large eyes, and short ears. Males are larger than females. They grow relatively rapidly, reaching three quarters of the adult size within five months, are fully independent by the end of their first year and reach sexual maturity soon after the first year. These cookies do not store any personal information. Sand cats occur across the Sahara Desert, from Morocco in the west to as far as Egypt and the Sudan in the east. [67] The International Species Information Service lists 116 worldwide, with 36 being in the U.S. Information reprinted With Permission from the IUCN Wild Cats Book. The most common disease is infectious rhinotracheitis. Principal Threats: Habitat degradation is the major threat to the sand cat. The captive population within the Species Survival Plan for sand cat is based on eight founders. I signed my brother up for Cat Facts and now he doesn't visit me anymore. 2. Send Some Cat Facts… In Algeria, one individual was recorded near a salt cedar mound in the Ahaggar Mountains in 2008. Diet: Carnivore. Adults reach up to 22.4 inches in length and weigh up to 7.5 lbs. whao I knew sand cats exsited but now there my fav. Sand Cat Distribution in Africa 2003). Thank you Cat Facts! Furthermore, the mammal forms the only feline that resides principally within the true desert. Their faeces and stomachs contained remains of small mammals, birds, small reptiles, and invertebrates. The sand cat's outer ear is similar to that of a domestic cat, but its ear canal is about twice the size. [58], Oestrus in female sand cats lasts from five to six days, during which they frequently call and scent mark. No confirmed records are known in Mauritania, Tunisia and Libya. In Mali's Lake Faguibine area, one individual was shortly sighted by night in 2011. It has a dense soft fur that is a pale sand or gray color above and paler underneath. [41] [27] Height: 11 in. They are prolific diggers, and their claws are not very sharp for lack of places to sharpen them in the desert. Can you fix it please? [57], Sand cats were collected in eastern Karakum Desert in the late 1950s. Estranged Brother. The length of this cat from head to tail is usually between 15 and 20 inches. Cat litter was originally mostly sand that was bagged and sold by pet stores until 1947 when Edward Lowe introduced his clay-based Kitty Litter. In the wild their reproductive seasons are dependent on location. [19], Analysis of mitochondrial DNA of 47 sand cats from across its range showed that their haplotypes differed only by 1–3 base pair mutations. The fur of the sand cat is a sandy colour. In Saudi Arabia's Mahazat as-Sayd Protected Area, sand cats were captured and encountered trapped in wire mesh fence surrounding the adjacent Saja/Umm Ar-Rimth Protected Area in the country's Najd region. Their eyes will normally be open by the 14th day, and they will begin to walk by the 21st day. scheffeli is classified Endangered). You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. 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