FIELD GUIDE Animal Directory

CATS

Secretive and solitary, cats belong to the family Felidae and are the most efficient killers among carnivores. Also the most strictly carnivorous, they feed exclusively on other warm-blooded creatures, from sparrows and mice to buffaloes and giraffes. Although they differ greatly in coloration and size, all cats have a similar body plan to their domestic counterpart, with an elongated body, long tail, small head, sensitive whiskers, prominent canine teeth and keen, bifocal vision. Much wild felid behaviour will be familiar to the average cat owner.

TAXONOMY

Most of South Africa’s felid species are small to medium-sized cats of the genera Felis, Caracal and Leptailurus. ...

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