Sand cat - the small king of the big desert
Once this representative of felines lived in the Israeli dunes, but today it is almost destroyed, so when in 2010 in the zoo of the country near the sand (barchan) cat Felis Margarit appeared offspring, arose the hope for the revival of the breed.
At first glance, the sand cat looks very much like an ordinary domestic cat. But there is one significant difference - a much broader head and back. The animal has wide, large, pointed ears - during the hunt the cat presses them horizontally or pulls down. This interesting representative of cats is longer than a normal cat - reaches 60 centimeters, weight from 1.5 to 3.5 kg. The animal has a soft and thick coat, the color of which can be varied - from pale yellow to grayish brown. Darker shades are located on the back, and light on the stomach. The tip of the long tail is also of a dark shade.
The sand cat has short paws, on the pads of which there is a dense hairline. Thus nature has taken care that the animal does not get burned in the arid climatic regions where it lives. Basically, it is the deserts of South-West Asia and North Africa. The cat adapted well to a very arid terrain. Interestingly, despite widespread use, the breed was not mentioned in scientific publications until 1858.
For the first time this interesting animal was described by the French naturalist Victor Losh. He is considered the "discoverer" of the barchan cat, whom he discovered by exploring the fauna and flora of the Northern Sahara. The new species was called "Felis Marguerite", in honor of the outstanding general from France, Jean-Auguste Marguerite. After the first description of the cat from Algeria, several other species of this animal were found that lived in different regions.
The sand cat, whose photo you can see in this article, prefers to settle in desert areas with scant vegetation, he loves stony and flat surfaces. The animal easily tolerates temperatures from -5 о С to +52 о С.
A sand cat enjoys drinking water when it is available, but it can easily do without it for a month. He suffices the water that he receives from food. Barkhan cat is a good hunter who catches rodents, reptiles, birds, sometimes small hares. Particularly active at night. In addition, he is an excellent "builder" - digs deep underground holes, where he holds especially hot daytime hours.
The pregnancy of a barkhan cat lasts from 59 to 63 days. As a result, not more than four kittens are born with a birth weight of about 39 g.
At present, the sand cat, more precisely its Pakistani subspecies, is under threat of destruction. Due to the fact that animals pose a threat to poultry, they are often destroyed. In captivity, the animal can live up to thirteen years, but at home it is extremely rare. In many respects this is due to its incredibly high cost - it can be afforded by individuals who wish throughout the world. Agree, a sand cat, whose price reaches 6000 dollars, is not available to everyone.