The African wildcat is a small (very domestic looking) cat that is native to the Africa Continent. They are very rare to see and can be overlooked by Safari Goers as a “usual house cat.”

The African wildcat

An African Wildcat can be identified by its light grey fur that sometimes turns a pale yellow/red in color and its darker grey strips that run across its face and body. A way to identify a pure breed African Wildcat is to look at its paws. A pure breed will have pitch-black paws whereas a domestic house cat will have patches of lighter colors or completely pinky colored paws.

African wildcats are nocturnal and prey on smaller species such as mice, rats, birds and even insects. They can go for long periods without water. Their gestation period is between 56 and 69 days and they can give birth to up to 3 kittens or even more at a time.

In the Greater Kruger area, there is a problem with the feral cats breeding with the African Wildcats. This causes a mixed breed between the two cats, and therefore slowly we are seeing the pure genetics of the African Wild Cat fade away.

Cat Flu is another major problem that feral cats bring along with them. This disease doesn’t just target the Africa Wild Cat but other small species as well, such as Serval and Caracal.

It is important for us as an Africa Tour Operator to bring attention to these wonderful smaller cats and why it is necessary we protect them against any harm.

If you are interested in joining Shikwari on a Full Day Safari in the Kruger National Park or would like us to create a custom tour for you, please contact us via email at

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