Caracal Cats

Few Things You Should Know about Caracal Cats

The Caracal cat (Caracal Caracal) is a very fast medium-sized cat that is referred to as African
or Persian Lynx even though it is not part of the Lynx family. The name of this cat comes from the Turkish
word ‘karakulak’ that means ‘black ear’
and the black ears are a distinctive feature of the caracal cats.

The Description

The caracal cat has about 2-3 feet in length plus 9-12
inches for the tail. They are not very
tall, they have 15-20 inches at the shoulder. Their weight varies between 30 to 42 pounds with the females being
generally lighter than the mails.

The habitat

The caracals can be found in Northern Africa, western Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula. They prefer to live in dry steppes, semi-deserts as well as savannas and
woodlands. They can live as high as 3000
meters (9800 ft.) above the sea level.

They are mostly nocturnal which makes it difficult to
observe and territorial, it lives only alone or rarely in pairs.

The diet

The caracal is a carnivore
cat and normally feeds with small mammals, rodents, and birds. It is a
very efficient hunter due to its speed and agility and can even catch pray that
is three times its size. It can also
leap for over 3 meters in the airs and this allows the caracal to easily catch
birds as they fly. The caracal doesn’t
start its pray until it is only five meters away from the victim when it can easily launch into a
sprint. Caracal cats hunt alone or in
pairs.

Caracal cats can survive without water for long periods of
time because it uses the body fluids of its prey. They don’t eat hair but are shearing the meat
neatly from the skin but it will eat small feathers.

The reproduction

It takes a year for both males and females to become
sexually mature and they can produce gametes as early as seven to ten
months. They can only successfully mate
at 12 to 15 months. Oestrus is usually
between one and three days long and cycles every fourteen days if the female is
not pregnant. Breeding can take place in
any period of the year but the births occur more often from October to
February.

One to six kittens are born at a time after a gestation period of two to three months. When they are born, the kittens have their
eyes and ears shut, non-retractable
claws, and spotted abdomen. It takes four weeks for the ears to become erect while eyes open at ten days and start to
see later on.

The caracal has an average lifespan of 16 years.

Caracals can be kept as pets and have no difficulty adapting
to the human environment. A caracal cat can cost between $1500.00 and
$2200.00. It is not a good idea to keep this type of cat at a farm though
because they will likely eat chicken and small animals. They are sometimes killed for their predatory
skills as well as for their meat and fur, which some of the tribes consider to be a luxury.

Bobcats

Bobcats are one of the popular cats found in few regions in the world. They can be said to be a type of lynx found in North America. The Bobcats are medium-sized cats having stumpy tails and pointed ears. These cats usually have brown to buff fur or a mixture, of both. Some bobcats are more in intense in color having some reddish tinge with some unique spots with black and brown stripes or even both. Their face has ruffs with ear tufts and has white spots at the tips of their ears. They have this bobbed unique tails, and this is where they acquired their name. They have another unique and important adaptation which is a white underside at the tail in which a mother raises to call for the kittens when they are left far behind when walking.

Size

They vary in size where the bobcats dwelling in the North America are slightly larger than those dwelling in the south. An adult bobcat has an average of 6 to 7 inch in length with a stubby appendage and weighs around 9 and 33 pounds on average.

Their Native Habitat

Most of these cats are found in North America. They are adaptive animals who can live in various habitats including the boreal coniferous forests in the North, mixed forest of the North coastal swamps in the East and even the scrublands and deserts in the South.

Their Skills of Communication

They a variety of communicating skills which include using the scent whereby they urinate along the travel routes for their partners to recognize them. They can also leave feces along the trail as an indication for the kittens to follow its mother. This is also an indication that a female is receptive to mating and even marking their home range. When the Bobcats are close, they communicate via body postures, facial expressions and even signals where the spit bird like chips to scare off their predators.

Eating Habits and Food

These animals usually feed on hares and rabbits as they are good hunters. They also feed on a small percentage of rodents like the mice and squirrels. They can also hunt for lizards small deer, snakes and even domestic animals if they come across one. The terrestial Bobcats are excellent tree climbers where can climb high to watch over for the low laying prey and birds. They have excellent hunting skills whereby they can stalk their prey with patience and usually travels for 2 to 7 miles in the evening in hunting missions and patrolling their territory.

While chasing their prey, Bobcats can run up to 48 kilometers per hour stepping their back at the same spot where the front feet stepped thus reducing any noise when hunting.

The Social Structure

Bobcats are usually territorial and solitary animals. A male usually has a larger home thus allowing him to socialize with more females. They usually mark their territories thus minimizing confrontations and highly respects each other’s territories.

Breeding

The mating season usually happens in the winter with a gestation period of 60 to 70 days. The female can give birth to four kittens. This happens in well-protected areas such as hollow tree dens, cave or in the dense shrubs. Once the kittens are born, the male is driven away but stays within the territory. The mother will nurse them for two months and then start walking around for three to five months before separating before another winter for another mating season.

Sleeping Habits

Bobcats can be active during the day and night but more active during dawn and dusk. They can live for about 5 to 15 years.

 

Ocelots

What can you tell me about ocelots?

Appearance

The ocelot (with the scientific name Leopardus pardalis) is an animal of the cat family with a beautiful, dappled coat. Weighing an average of eight to fifteen kilograms, ocelots are about twice the size of normal house cats. These cats range in color from reddish gray to light yellow, and their coats also have dark stripes and spots. Their cheeks have dark stripes while their tails have darkly-colored rings.

Range and habitat

The animal is the only cat of medium size found in the subtropics, and it has a wide geographical range that spreads from southern Texas to Central America and most of South America including northern parts of Argentina. It occupies different habitats such as swampy forests, dry scrub, humid tropical forests and coastal mangrove. Ocelots may be found anywhere from sea level to high areas up to 1,200 meters above sea level.

Behavior and feeding

Ocelots are territorial and solitary cats that are mostly nocturnal and will be found resting in dense brush or trees during the day. During the night, the cats are highly active, traveling up to five miles in a single night. Males normally cover more ground than the females. But occasionally the cats hunt during the day, especially in the wet season and on overcast or cloudy days .Ocelots are the perfect ‘sit and wait’ hunters-and can stay motionless for up to an hour at a burrow site or den and then quickly shift to a different site to sit and wait again.

Ocelots are carnivorous and their main prey consists of small animals like rodents, rabbits, iguanas, snakes, young deer, frogs and fish. When hunting, an ocelot may capture one prey after about every three hours of travelling. They can also stalk birds and monkeys and they are known to feed on crabs in the flooded savannas of Venezuela.

Since most of their prey lives on the ground, an ocelot can use debris to cover big carcasses which they will eat later .Unlike the majority of other cats, ocelots are quite at home in water and they are great swimmers. In spite of their carnivorous nature, a percentage of their diet (about twenty percent) also comprises of grass. This is a characteristic shared by many cats in the western hemisphere.

Just like other cats, the teeth of an ocelot are highly adapted for meat eating. Their pointed fangs are ideal for delivering a killing bite, and the back teeth are sharp to tear meat like scissors. An ocelot’s teeth are not suitable for chewing, which means the food is torn to pieces before being swallowed whole. The tongue is raspy to ensure that every last bit of flesh is cleaned off the bones.

Breeding

Female ocelots give birth to litters of two or three dark-colored kittens. In the northern regions of their geographical range, for example the US, autumn is usually the breeding season. But in the tropics, ocelots do not have a fixed breeding season.

Protection

The sleek and gorgeous fur of the ocelot has made it a favorite target for hunters. This has led to the cat becoming very rare, and in Texas it is an endangered species.The population of ocelots has also declined in the recent past as a result of the destruction of their habitat due to human activities like logging and farming. The ocelot is now a protected animal in the US and in many other countries where it is found.

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Serval Cats

There are more than ten cat species in Africa. Besides the
famous cats such as the lion leopard, and cheetah we have other smaller species that inhibit the savannah and as well the wetter areas of the continent. The smaller species include the African wildcat, sand cat, golden cat, jungle cat, caracal and the serval cat that dominates them all.

The African serval cat is indigenous to the African continent it has been tamed and widely kept as an exotic breed in the western world. You can easily locate this breed in the wetter parts away from the north and south-west hotter parts of the continent.

Owing to human encroachment and interferences the servals live in the
open grasslands and plain of the sub-Saharan African well supplied with water
patches.

The servals are highly successful feline animals their wonderful hunting abilities make them outstanding among the top nocturnal
predators. Deriving their name from the Portuguese word Cervus meaning deer like a wolf the serval coating is tawny with black spots on it sometimes
merging to form stripes a similarity they share with the deer. Depending on
location, however, these feature can vary where for instance melanin comes into play and we have white servals as in the cases of captivity.

Some of the distinct features defining this species from the
rest of the breeds are: long legs and in this case longer in proportions to
body size as compared to other cats. It has longer ears not comparable to any
cat species rendering it a robust hearing capability that make it a master
hunter compared to other cat species. Despite the size, the servals can hunt
down bigger prey it averagely weighs around thirty to forty pounds in weight
and a size of around four feet including the tail. They are very similar in size to the caracal species the difference being that they are a bit more slender and longer.

They are characteristic of the pouncing technique when
hunting where for instance the cat leaps high in the air to around one to two
meters then lands on the prey with its forepaws stunning the prey in the
process it then kills the victim by biting its head. Owing to its highly
specialized physique the serval boasts a successful hunting rate of more than
50%. It takes a wide variety of prey including but not limited to birds,
insects, rodents, hares, fish, and frogs.

The hunting technique is usually locating their prey in the
night using echo-locating approach aided with their large ears. Then once they
have determined their target, they make a vertical pounce that sees them landing on their target they also specialize in hunting birds where they leap high from the ground creating a clapping movement to catch their prey by surprise.

The servals are solitary animals having minimal interaction
in large groups as is the case with many wild animals. They come together
during the mating season with their pregnancy lasting for two and a half to
around three months, at around seven months the young ones should be fully
independent and reach full maturity at around two years of age. When tamed and well taken care of some can survive up to the age of 19 years.

 

 

 

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The Lynx

Lynx is an elusive and beautiful medium-sized wild cat that
can be mostly found in the Northern Hemisphere. It is classified into four
subspecies in lines of its appearance and distribution and it is seen in a
couple of countries in Europe, Asia, and North America. Being a large wild cat,
it weighs around thirty to seventy pounds, with the size varying across the
subspecies.
The word ‘lynx’ is of Greek origin and means ‘to shine’ – a
possible reference to the cat’s bright eyes. Other key features include large
paws that help in walking on snow and also a short tail. Its ears are tipped by
black ear tufts and the neck has a thick ruff of hair around it. Whiskers are
ordinarily prominent and long. The colors of Lynx cats varies with habitat and
is mostly brownish gray, with the fur often being spotted on the limbs.
An inhabitant of dense forests and mountains, the Lynx cat
usually lives in bushes and thick shrubs. Its capable of an aquatic and
arboreal style of hunting and usually hunts and attacks its preys on the
ground. Collective hunting has been noted between kittens and their mother and preys of various sizes are brought down in this manner, ranging from rodents, hares, fish, deer, sheep, goat and birds. Hearing and sight are usually
employed to close into prey, instead of scent. Lynx cats prefer to ambushing
and pouncing on their preys from a close distance, like the leopard, rather
than sprinting after it like a cheetah.

Largely a reclusive and solitary cat, Lynx usually mates in
the winter and up to four kittens are born in a year. Independence is reached
at approximately one year of age. Due to their shy nature, these cats rarely
are seen in the wild and seldom come in contact with people. Attacks on people
are also very rare and are usually in a defensive intent rather than offensive.
Here are some important facts about the lynx.
1. Lynx is a member of the cat family that includes four
species: Eurasian Lynx, Iberian Lynx,
Canadian Lynx, and Bobcat.
2. Lynx are cats of the northern hemisphere and have evolved
into having long-haired cats, to adapt to the cold winters.
3. The word Lynx is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘to
shine’ and is a reference to the cat’s bright eyes.
4. Lynx cats are distinct due to their unique appearance –
including prominent neck ruffs, short tails, and long tufted ears.
5. Lynx cats usually live in forested, mountainous regions
and are thus track and attack predators like most cats.
6. Despite their lifestyle, some lynx cats (in particular
females) have been seen hunting cooperatively.
7. Eurasian Lynx is the largest species and is found all
across Asia and northern Europe.
8. Canadian Lynx is the 2nd largest and is found in Canada
and Alaska.
9. Iberian Lynx is found in Spain and is one of the most
endangered of all wild cats.
10. Today hunting of lynx is illegal in most of their
natural habitats and there are signs of recovery in numbers of some of the lynx
species.
Lynx cats have been faced various of threats in the wild
including poaching for fur and habitat encroachment. It’s considered an
endangered species in certain parts of its territory, with hunting and trading
in its skin and fur illegal in many countries.

 

 

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