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Sand Cat

Sand Cat

Common Name:
Sand Cat
Scientific Name:
Felis margarita
Gestation Period:
60 days
  • Desert
11 in
2.5 ft
Number of Young:
7 lb

Did you know dense hair on the pads of the sand cat's feet protect them against the hot sands of the desert? Learn more about sand cats.

Care & Wellness:

Zookeepers at the North Carolina Zoo found a unique way to provide exercise for the sand cats:  a cat-sized exercise wheel.  Training the cats to walk on the wheel allows them to stay fit while burning energy and calories.

  • Sand cats have an acute sense of hearing and patiently wait to hear prey moving under the sand.
  • They are excellent diggers and will dig up rodents out of their burrows.
  • These small cats are primarily nocturnal and solitary.
  • They may share burrows but never occupy the same burrow at the same time.
Endangered Status
  • Extinct in Wild (EW)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Not Evaluated (NE)
Fun Facts:
  • Life span in the wild is unknown.
  • Dense hair on the pads of their feet protect against hot sands and the cold of the desert.
  • Fearless hunters, they can prey on venomous snakes.
  • May "meow" like domestic cats and use a bark-like call during breeding season.
  • An ancient Muslim story says sand cats accompanied the Prophet Muhammad and his daughter in a journey across the desert, leading to respect for these cats.
A curious sand kitten.