African Wild Cats in Uganda ~ Felis lybica

  1. Animals
  2. African Wild Cats in Uganda
  • Life span: 16 years
  • Weight: 3-8 kg
  • Height: 23 cm


African Wild Cats in Uganda: This is a reminiscent of the domestic tabby which has been inter breed succesfully and it is found in most savanna habitats of Uganda.
The African Wildcat Felis lybica is the size of a large housecat. They have longer legs than the domestic cat, giving them a more upright posture in the sitting position and a different walking form. The background color of its coat ranges from reddish to sandy yellow to tawny brown to grey, and is typically marked with faint tabby stripes and spots. Hairs have black tips giving a speckled appearance, and their legs are banded with black bars. A characteristic feature of this group is a reddish or rusty-brown tint to the backs of the ears. The long, thin tail ends with 2 or 3 black rings and a black tip. There is a line of darker fur down the spine from the shoulder to the base of the tail. Paw pads are black like those of the black-footed cat. The African species distinguishes itself from the European Wildcat by its lighter build, less distinct markings and thin tapering tail.

This cat varies locally in appearance. In general, from north to south there is a gradation of coat thickness, intensity of ground color, and amount of “tabby” markings.

There are two main features that can help distinguish wildcats from domestic cats and hybrids. One is the rich reddish brown on the backs of the ears. Domestic-wild crosses usually have dark gray or black-backed ears, but sometimes retain a little red at the base. A second striking characteristic is the wildcat’s long legs. When the wildcat is sitting upright, its long front legs raise its body into an almost vertical position. This characteristic pose, which is almost impossible for domestic cats or crosses, can be seen in the ancient Egyptian bronze mummy cases and tomb paintings. Even when walking the wildcat’s long legs and high shoulder blades give it a distinctive action; it moves more like a cheetah than a domestic cat.

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