Hero image


black-footed cat

Wild CatsChevron iconBlack-footed cat
Felis nigripes

Black-footed cat


The black-footed cat is one of the smallest cat species in the world and the smallest in Africa. The Black-footed Cat gets its name from its black pads and the underside of its paws. Its fur is fawn coloured and marked with black and brown spots, merging into broad stripes on its neck, legs and tail. The tail is relatively short with a black tip. The head of the Black-footed Cat is similar to that of the domestic cat, with large ears and eyes.

Distribution and habitat

The black-footed cat is endemic to southern Africa and is found mainly in South Africa and Namibia, it also occurs in Botswana, and marginally in Zimbabwe. It is therefore a restricted species, with the most restricted range of any cat species in Africa.

The black-footed cat chooses grassland and semi-desert habitats, including arid open savannas.


The black-footed cat is an animal that lives mainly on the ground. It is a solitary predator, active at night. It travels an average of 8.4 km in search of food.


The black-footed cat's diet includes many types of prey. It feeds mainly on rodents such as mice and gerbils, small birds and invertebrates.

Main threats

The main threats to the black-footed cat are habitat degradation and non-selective pest control methods such as the use of poisons.

Threat category

vulnerable to extinction

Body weight

1-2.5 kg

Body lenght

37-52 cm

Tail lenght

14-20 cm

Life span

do 16 lat w niewoli

Litter size

1-4 kocięta

Arrow icon
Arrow icon