Wikijunior:Big Cats/Sand cat
Sand cats are the other extreme cat, taking the desert heat the way the snow leopard takes the icy cold.
Where do sand cats live?
As its name implies, the sand cat is commonly found in sandy desert areas in the arid countries of Northern Africa, Arabia, and parts of Central Asia and Pakistan.
What do sand cats look like?
The sand cat’s body is well adapted to desert life - its thick, medium length fur insulates it against the extreme cold of the desert nights and its feet and pads are covered with long hair which protects them from the heat of the desert surface and gives it extra support needed in moving across the soft, shifting sands. The large triangular ears are very sensitive to sound.
What do sand cats eat, and how do they catch their prey?
The sand cat hunts at night, spending the hottest part of the day sleeping under rough scrubby vegetation or a shallow burrow dug into the sand. At sunset the cat will become active, moving away from its den in search of prey. Its diet is known to include small rodents such as gerbil and jerboas, insects, reptiles, including venomous desert snakes and birds. They occasionally catch larger prey. They also have really great eye sight.
See how much you know about the sand cat:
- Sand cats have a low-pitched meow, but can also bark to communicate at long distances.
- Most sand cats never drink water. They get all their moisture from their prey.
- This cat also tends to chase its tail when it gets bored or nervous.