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African golden cat

Wild CatsChevron iconAfrican golden cat
Caracal aurata

African golden cat


The African golden cat is a medium-sized cat with a compact body and relatively short legs. Its head is small in relation to its body and its ears are rounded. The fur can be reddish brown or greyish, spotted or smooth. The throat, chest and underside of the body are white, and there are usually large dark spots on the belly. African golden cat have white spots around the eyes and on the cheeks. In areas where melanistic golden cats have been recorded, they make up about 5% of all individuals. The African golden cat's tail makes up about a third of its body length.

Distribution and habitat

The African golden cat is an endemic species of the African rainforest and is found throughout equatorial Africa, from Senegal through the Congo Basin to Uganda.

It is a species strongly associated with high humidity forests. It prefers mainly equatorial forests. However, it seems to be quite adaptable and is also found in montane and bamboo forests, as well as coastal forests and wooded savannas.


Most of the African golden cat's prey is rodents. It also preys on birds, bats and primates.

Main threats

The main threat to the African golden cat is habitat loss and fragmentation due to deforestation.

Threat category

vulnerable to extinction


7-16 kg

Body lenght

65-90 cm

Ttail lenght

28-35 cm

Life span

up to 12 years

Litter size

1-2 kittens

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