desert sand cat

Sand Cat as a Pet

Last Updated on December 31, 2022 by admin

Sand cats are a small, solitary wild cat native to deserts in Africa and Asia. Unfortunately, they cannot be kept as pets due to their wild instincts being far stronger than a house cat’s and they are not bred to be domesticated. Sand cats may appear to be adorable kittens, but they are actually fierce predators that eat mainly small rodents. Additionally, a recent study indicated that only 61% of sand cats born in captivity live to day 30 due to maternal neglect, making it an unsuitable pet for most people.

Is It Legal to Own a Sand Cat as a Pet in the United States?

It is illegal to own a sand cat as a pet in most states in the United States since they are considered exotic cats. Sand cats are also undomesticated and optimized to survive in the desert. They have a hard time living in captivity although several zoos feature sand cats.

What Is a Sand Cat?

The Sand Cat (Felis margarita) is a small, wild cat species that inhabits sandy and stony deserts far from water sources. Its fur is typically sandy to light grey, which helps it remain well camouflaged in its desert environment. Its head-and-body length ranges from 39–52 cm with a 23–31 cm long tail. It has large ears and thickly furred pads, which help it hunt in the desert environment. The Sand Cat is the only feline species found primarily in deserts, and it is found in various regions of North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

Sand Cat Facts

  1. The sand cat is a small wild cat found in sandy and stony deserts far from water sources. It has a sandy to light grey fur, head-and-body length of 39 – 52 cm, and a tail length of 23 – 31 cm.
  2. Sand cats have thick fur and pads on the soles of their feet that protect them from the extreme temperatures and help them move in the sand.
  3. Sand cats are carnivorous and feed on snakes, birds, reptiles, hares, small rodents, and insects.
  4. Sand cats are the only species of cat that live exclusively in deserts, with four subspecies found in northern parts of Africa and Asia.
  5. Sand cats were believed to have been domesticated and kept as pets as far back as ancient Egypt.
  6. Sand cats don’t climb in the wild because there are no trees in their desert habitats, but they can climb if something is on a slant in captivity.
  7. Sand cats have long fur on the soles of their feet to help them run in hot, shifting sand.
  8. Sand cats do not need to drink water, they get it from prey.
  9. Sand cat ears are twice as large as domestic cats and has better hearing than a domestic cat, with greater sensitivity and the ability to process sounds more effectively. It can detect prey across long distances of the desert and communicate with other sad cats over long distances as well for mating.