The sand cat inhabits arid stony and sandy deserts, especially among sparse vegetation of Africa and south-west Asia. Nature perfectly equipped this little predator to live in extreme conditions. The cat becomes active at dusk. It digs dens in deep sand beneath desert bushes. Its foot pads are covered with thick hair, enabling it to move easily over quickly moving sands in its desert environment, and insulates them from the surface heat. The horizontal setting of the ears may help the cat to pick up the subterranean sounds of the prey.
Sand cats feed including rodents, birds, reptiles and some arthropods, and excess food for the next meal is hiding under the sand. The primary threats to sand cats include the destruction of their habitats by humans and decline of the population of prey.
- Latin name: Felis margarita harrisoni
- IUCN Red List – NT – Near Threatened
- CITES – Apendix II
- EEP – species or subspecies for which regional, European studbook exists.