Black-footed Cats are the smallest cats in Africa – they only weigh about four pounds! They have interesting markings. Their fur can be from a yellow-brown to a cinnamon color, and they have black spots on their bodies that turn into rings around their legs and tail.1 They also have fur on their feet to protect them from the hot ground they experience in their habitats.2

They are found in areas where there is grass and a high rodent population.2 They are endemic to Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia.They are nocturnal, and throughout the night they may end up walking close to 20 miles to find prey!3 They’ll mainly eat rodents and birds.2 Even though these cats are small, they’re the deadliest hunters in the feline family.3


Because when they hunt, they have a 60% success rate.3

What they lack in size, they make up for in hunting accuracy. When catching a bird, they can jump almost five feet in the air! They also are very patient – they may sit and wait for almost an hour for a rodent to exit its burrow. Throughout the year, they eat thousands of rodents.2

These cats are solitary except for mating season. Offspring are born after about two months and are able to take care of themselves after about four months. However, even after they’re independent, they will stay close to their mother’s territory.2

Overall, these cats are considered Vulnerable by the IUCN.1