IUCN threat status:

Near Threatened (NT)

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Description

The sand cat is well adapted to the arid deserts of Africa and Asia which it inhabits, obtaining all the water it needs from the rodents, birds, reptiles and arthropods which it eats (4). Catching prey such as these is no problem for the sand cat as its highly sensitive ears are well adapted for hearing suitable animals both above and below the surface of the desert, with an enlarged auditory bulla and ear flaps which give the sand cat's ears their characteristic triangular shape as well as enhanced hearing (4). Its foot pads are covered with thick hair, enabling it to move easily over quickly moving sands in its desert environment, and insulates them from the hot sands (4). The fur of the sand cat ranges from yellowish-brown to dull grey, with vague lines on its limbs and several black rings near the black tip of its tail (5). A dark, reddish streak runs from the corner of the eye down the cheek (4). The patterns on the sand cat's fur vary between the six subspecies (5).

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Source: ARKive

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