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Saturday, May 18, 2013

African Wildcat (Felis lybica griselda)

These stunning pictures were donated to my website by Andrea Meggiorin of Sidecar. Please visit his website for more fantastic pictures of his trip to Southern Africa. Both he and his wife Roberta are brilliant photographers and visit here every year. I am looking forward to seeing you both again in August my dear friends.
 Here is an interest extract from Mammals of the Southern African Subregion (Reay H.N. Smithers):


“When Linnaeus, in 1758, published his monumental work, the Systema Naturae, in which he arranged all the known mammals into a system to show their relationship to one another, he recognised that there were many common characteristics between cats and leopards, yet there wer e other obvious differences by which they were clearly separable. He created the genus Felis to accommodate both, separating them by the use of different specific names. Felis catus for the cat and Felis pardus for the leopard. He based his idea of the cat on a domestic cat from the town of Upsala, Sweden, described it and called it Felis catus. He probably never saw a European wild cat. Felis silvestris, or an African wild cat Felis lybica, as the former was described until some 19 years later by Schreber (1777) and the latter 22 years later by Forster (1780). As the European domestic cat most certainly had their origin from Felis lybica, which the Egyptians had domesticated from at least 3000 B.C., Linnaeus’ type was almost certainly a domestic strain descended from the African Wild Cat.”
 They are found throughout most of Africa in all kinds of habitats.


In areas where there are domestic cat, the Wild Cat will interbreed freely with them.

Wild Cats are very territorial and both male and female will mark its boundaries by urination.

Will lay in bushes or holes during the day and come out in the late afternoons and night to hunt.

Food consists mostly of rats and mice but included in their diet are also Solifgae (Sun spiders, Romans) insects, birds, reptiles, frogs and small mammals such as rabbits.

They are solitary except when mating.
Info: Mammals of the Southern African Subregion (Reay H.N. Smithers)

4 comments:

Gaelyn said...

I saw the wild cats at Tenikwa Wildlife Sanctuary in Nature's Valley. Looked like domestic kittys.

Jo said...

Hi Joan, I love this post as Grant and I love all cats. We saw wild cats like these in Kgalaghadi Transfrontier Park many years ago. Our one fat ginger cat here in Tanzania looks like this too! Have a great weekend. Jo

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

They sure do Gaelyn. Some of the parks allow people to keep dogs but never cats as they interbreed with the wild ones.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I have to agree with you Jo, all cats are beautiful. :) Kgalagadi is a good place to see them as there is no bushes to hide in.