Brief Summary

    Black-footed cat: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    The black-footed cat (Felis nigripes), also called small-spotted cat, is the smallest African cat and endemic to the southwestern arid zone of Southern Africa. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 2002, as the population is suspected to decline due to bushmeat poaching, persecution, traffic accidents and predation by domestic animals.

    MammalMAP: the black footed cat
    provided by EOL authors

    The black footed cat orFelis nigripesis one of the world’s smallestcats.These cats get their name from the colour of the underparts of their paws – which is black.The colour of itsfurvaries from cinnamon-buff to tawny with black or brown spots that merges to form rings on its legs, neck, and tail.

    The females weigh on average 1.3 kgs while its male counterpart weighs in at 1.9 kgs.Wow, that’s small!It would take three black footed cats to weigh the same as an average African wildcat.

    These kitties areopportunisticfeeders– chowing on a variety of 40 vertebrate species.Quite adept at killing prey bigger than they are, these cats are capable of jumping up 1.4 m high to catch birds in flight.Their hunting success is quite impressive – they can catch one vertebrate every 50 minutes.

    Black footed cats are generally anti-social.Females and males only associate for mating – which is only5 – 10 hours.Females give birth to a litter of two kittens in an underground.The kittens are born blind but quickly develop motor skills and venture out the den at three weeks. At this age, the mother will often bring back live prey for the kittens to practice on. By six weeks, the kittens are capable of killing their own prey. Even after they are independent, the kittens may stay within their mother’s territory.

    So where do we find these fabled felines?These cats are endemic to southern Africa.Theyprimarily inhabitthe dry, open savannahs, grasslands and Karoo semi deserts of South Africa and Namibia.These animals are threatened by habitat fragmentation as the result of grazing, agriculture and the use of poisons as a means of pest control.

    For more information on MammalMAP, visit the MammalMAPvirtual museumorblog.

Comprehensive Description

    Black-footed cat
    provided by wikipedia

    The black-footed cat (Felis nigripes), also called small-spotted cat, is the smallest African cat and endemic to the southwestern arid zone of Southern Africa. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 2002, as the population is suspected to decline due to bushmeat poaching, persecution, traffic accidents and predation by domestic animals.[2][3]


    The black-footed cat is a member of the genus Felis.[1] It was first described by English naturalist William John Burchell in 1824.[4]

    Two subspecies have been nominated:[1]

    According to Shortridge's description, F. n. nigripes is smaller and paler than F. n. thomasi, but since specimens with characteristics of both assumed subspecies are found close to Kimberley in central South Africa, the existence of subspecies is questioned, as no geographical or ecological barriers to their ranges occur.[6]

    The following cladogram shows the phylogenetic relationships of black-footed cat and other species within the Felis lineage. [7] .mw-parser-output table.clade{border-spacing:0;margin:0;font-size:100%;line-height:100%;border-collapse:separate;width:auto}.mw-parser-output table.clade table.clade{width:100%}.mw-parser-output table.clade td{border:0;padding:0;vertical-align:middle;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-label{width:0.8em;border:0;padding:0 0.2em;vertical-align:bottom;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-slabel{border:0;padding:0 0.2em;vertical-align:top;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-bar{vertical-align:middle;text-align:left;padding:0 0.5em}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leaf{border:0;padding:0;text-align:left;vertical-align:middle}.mw-parser-output table.clade td.clade-leafR{border:0;padding:0;text-align:right}


    Jungle cat (F. chaus)


    Black-footed cat (F. nigripes)


    European wildcat (F. silvestris silvestris)


    Sand cat (F. margarita)


    African wildcat (F. silvestris lybica)


    Domestic cat (F. catus)



    Close-up of a black-footed cat at the Wuppertal Zoo

    The black-footed cat is the smallest wild cat in Africa and rivals the rusty-spotted cat as the world's smallest wild cat. Males reach a head-to-body length of 36.7 to 43.3 cm (14.4 to 17.0 in) with tails 16.4 to 19.8 cm (6.5 to 7.8 in) long. Females are smaller with a maximum head-to-body-length of 36.9 cm (14.5 in) and tails 12.6 to 17.0 cm (5.0 to 6.7 in) long.[8] Adult resident males weigh on average 1.9 kg (4.2 lb) and a maximum of 2.45 kg (5.4 lb). Adult resident females weigh on average 1.3 kg (2.9 lb) and a maximum of 1.65 kg (3.6 lb).[3] The shoulder height is about 25 cm (9.8 in).[9]

    Despite its name, only the pads and underparts of the cat's feet are black. The cat has a stocky build with round ears, large eyes, and short black-tipped tail. The fur varies in color from cinnamon-buff to tawny, and is patterned with black or brown spots that merge to form rings on the legs, neck, and tail. These patterns help the animal camouflage. However, the back of their ears are the same color as the background color of their fur. They have six mammae and, unlike other species of spotted cats, non-pigmented skin.[10]

    Distribution and habitat

    The black-footed cat is endemic to southern Africa, and primarily found in South Africa, Namibia, marginally into Zimbabwe, and likely in extreme southern Angola. Only historical but no recent records exist in Botswana. It lives in dry, open savanna, grassland and Karoo semidesert with shrub and tree cover at altitudes up to 2,000 m (6,600 ft), but not in the driest and sandiest parts of the Namib and Kalahari Deserts.[2] During the night, they need sparse shrub and tree covers to hunt but spend the daytime in burrows or empty termite mounds.[10][11]

    Ecology and behavior

    Adult black-footed cat resting
    Black-footed cat in cover

    Black-footed cats are solitary and strictly nocturnal, thus rarely seen. They spend the day resting in dense cover, in unoccupied burrows of springhares, porcupines, and aardvarks, or in hollow termite mounds. They emerge to hunt after sunset.[6]

    They are typically found in dry, open habitat with some degree of vegetation cover. Apparently, they get all the moisture they need from their prey, but will drink water when available.[8]

    Unlike most other cats, black-footed cats are poor climbers, and will generally ignore tree branches. Their stocky bodies and short tails are not conducive to tree-climbing.[12] They dig vigorously in the sand to extend or modify burrows for shelter.[10]

    Black-footed cats are highly unsociable animals that seek refuge at the slightest disturbance. When cornered, they are known to defend themselves fiercely. Due to this habit and their courage, they are called miershooptier (anthill tiger in Afrikaans) in parts of the South African Karoo. They rarely use termite mounds for cover or for bearing their young. A San legend claims that a black-footed cat can kill a giraffe by piercing its jugular. This exaggeration is intended to emphasize the bravery and tenacity of the animal.[13] The only times this behavior differs is when it is time to breed or they are a female with dependent kittens.[3][10]

    Within one year, a female covers an average range of 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi), a resident male 22 km2 (8.5 sq mi). The range of an adult male overlaps the ranges of one to four females.[3] On average, the animal travels 8 km (5.0 mi) per night in search of prey. The cats use scent marking throughout their ranges, with males spraying urine up to 12 times an hour. Other forms of scent marking include rubbing objects, raking with claws, and depositing faeces in visible locations. Their calls are louder than those of other cats of their size, presumably to allow them to call over relatively large distances. However, when close to each other, they use quieter purrs or gurgles, or hiss and growl if threatened.[10]

    Diet and hunting

    Captive black-footed cat with a mouse

    Due to their small size, black-footed cats hunt mainly small prey species, such as rodents and small birds, but may also take the white-quilled bustard and the Cape hare, the latter heavier than itself. Insects and spiders provide less than 1% of the prey mass consumed.[14][15] They are known to occasionally scavenge the lambs of springboks. They are unusually active hunters, killing up to 14 small animals in a night. Their energy requirements are very high, with about 250 g (9 oz) of prey per night consumed, which is about a sixth of its average body weight.[10]

    Black-footed cats hunt mainly by stalking, rather than ambush, using the cover of darkness and all available traces of cover to approach their prey before the final pounce. They have been observed to hunt by moving swiftly to flush prey from cover, but also to slowly stalk through tufts of vegetation. Less commonly, they wait outside rodent burrows, often with their eyes closed, but remaining alert for the slightest sound.[6] In common with the big cats, but unlike most other small species, black-footed cats have been observed to hide some of their captured prey for later feeding, rather than consuming it immediately.[14][10]

    Reproduction and lifecycle

    Black-footed cats have lived for 10 years in captivity. Females reach sexual maturity after 8 to 12 months. They come into estrus for only one or two days at a time, and are receptive to mating for a few hours, requiring males to locate them quickly. Copulation occurs frequently during this period. Gestation lasts from 63 to 68 days. A litter consists usually of two kittens, but may vary from one to four young. Kittens weigh 60 to 84 g (2.1 to 3.0 oz) at birth. They are born blind and relatively helpless, although they are able to crawl about after just a few hours. They are able to walk within two weeks, begin taking solid food after about a month, and are fully weaned by two months of age.[16]

    Females may have up to two litters during the spring, summer, and autumn. They rear their kittens in a burrow, moving them to new locations regularly after the first week. In general, kittens develop more rapidly than other similarly sized cats, quickly adapting them to a relatively hostile environment. They become independent by five months of age, but may remain within their mother's range.[10]


    Known threats include methods of indiscriminate predator control, such as bait poisoning and steel-jaw traps, habitat deterioration from overgrazing, intraguild predation, diseases, declining springhare populations and unsuitable farming practices. Distribution data indicate that the majority of protected areas may be too small to adequately conserve a viable subpopulation.[2]


    Felis nigripes is included on CITES Appendix I and protected by national legislation across most of its range. Hunting is banned in Botswana and South Africa.[2]

    Field research

    The Black-footed Cat Working Group carries out a research project at Benfontein Nature Reserve and Nuwejaarsfontein Farm near Kimberley, Northern Cape, where seven black-footed cats have been radio-collared. This project is part of a multidisciplinary effort to study the distribution, ecology, health, and reproduction of black-footed cats over an extended period.[17] In November 2012, this project was extended to Biesiesfontein Farm located in the Victoria West area.[18]

    In captivity

    Wuppertal Zoo acquired black-footed cats as long ago as 1957, and succeeded in breeding them in 1963. In 1993, the European Endangered Species Programme was formed to coordinate which animals are best suited for pairing to maintain genetic diversity and to avoid inbreeding. The International Studbook for the black-footed cat is kept in the Wuppertal Zoo in Germany.[19] As of July 2011[update], detailed records exist for a total of 726 captive cats since 1964; worldwide, 74 individuals were kept in 23 institutions in Germany, United Arab Emirates, USA, UK, and South Africa.[20]

    A range of zoos have reported breeding successes, including the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo,[21] Fresno Chaffee Zoo,[22] the Brookfield Zoo[23] and Philadelphia Zoo.[24]

    The Audubon Nature Institute' Center for Research of Endangered Species is working on advanced genetics involving cats.[25] In February 2011, a female kept there gave birth to two male kittens – the first black-footed cats to be born as a result of in vitro fertilization using frozen and thawed sperm and frozen and thawed embryos. In 2003, the sperm was collected from a male and then frozen. It was later combined with an egg from a female, creating embryos in March 2005. Those embryos were frozen for almost six years before being thawed and transferred to a surrogate female in December 2010, which carried the embryos to term, resulting in the birth of the two kittens.[26] The same center reported that on 6 February 2012, a female black-footed cat kitten, Crystal, was born to a domestic cat surrogate after interspecies embryo transfer.[27]


    1. ^ a b c Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 536. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    2. ^ a b c d e Sliwa, A.; Wilson, B.; Küsters, M. & Tordiffe, A. (2016). "Felis nigripes". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2018-1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T8542A50652196.en
    3. ^ a b c d Sliwa, A. (2004). Home range size and social organization of black-footed cats (Felis nigripes). Mammalian Biology 69 (2): 96–107.
    4. ^ Burchell, W.J. (1824). Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa, Vol. II. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green. p. 592.
    5. ^ Shortridge, G. C. 1931. Felis (Microfelis) nigripes thomasi subsp. nov. Records of the Albany Museum 4 (1): 119–120.
    6. ^ a b c Olbricht, G., Sliwa, A. (1997). In situ and ex situ observations and management of black-footed cats Felis nigripes. International Zoo Yearbook 35: 81–89.
    7. ^ Mattern, M.Y.; McLennan, D.A. (2000). "Phylogeny and speciation of felids". Cladistics. 16 (2): 232–53. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2000.tb00354.x.
    8. ^ a b Smithers, R.H.N. (1983). The mammals of the southern African subregion. Pretoria: University of Pretoria.
    9. ^ Stuart, C. T., Wilson, V. J. (1988). The cats of southern Africa. Chipangali Wildlife Trust, Bulawayo.
    10. ^ a b c d e f g h Sunquist, M.; Sunquist, F. (2002). "Black-footed cat Felis nigripes (Burchell, 1824)". Wild cats of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 76–82. ISBN 0-226-77999-8.
    11. ^ Nowell, K. and Jackson, P. (1996) Wild Cats Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
    12. ^ Armstrong, J. (1977). The development and hand-rearing of black-footed cats. Pages 71–80 in: Eaton, R. L. The World's cats; the proceedings of an International Symposium. Volume 3 number 3. Winston Wildlife Safari, Oregon
    13. ^ Sliwa, A. (2006). Atomic Kitten BBC Wildlife (November 2006): 36–40
    14. ^ a b Sliwa, A. (1994). "Black-footed cat studies in South Africa". Cat News. 20: 15–19.
    15. ^ Sliwa, A. (2006). "Seasonal and sex-specific prey composition of black-footed cats Felis nigripes". Acta Theriologica. 51 (2): 195–204. doi:10.1007/BF03192671.
    16. ^ Leyhausen, P., Tonkin, B. (1966). Breeding the black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook 6: 178–182
    17. ^ Sliwa, A., Wilson, B., Lawrenz, A. (2010). Report on surveying and catching Black-footed cats (Felis nigripes) on Nuwejaarsfontein Farm / Benfontein Nature Reserve 4–20 July 2010. Black-footed Working Group, July 2010
    18. ^ Sliwa, A.; Wilson, B.; Lamberski, N.; Lawrenz, A. (2013). Report on surveying, catching and monitoring Black-footed cats (Felis nigripes) on Benfontein Nature Reserve, Nuwejaarsfontein Farm, and Biesiesfontein in 2012 (PDF). Black-footed Cat Working Group.
    19. ^ Olbricht, G., Schürer, U. (1994). International Studbook for the Black-footed Cat 1994. Zoologischer Garten der Stadt Wuppertal
    20. ^ Stadler, A. (2011). International studbook for the black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) Volume 15. Zoologischer Garten der Stadt Wuppertal, Wuppertal
    21. ^ Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. (2012). Animal News Press Release 26 April 2011
    22. ^ Condoian, L. (2011). General Meeting of the Board of Directors Archived 14 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Fresno Chaffee Zoo Corporation, 9 June 2011.
    23. ^ Chicago Zoological Society. (2012). Black-footed cats born – a first at Brookfield Zoo Archived 31 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Press Release 27 March 2012
    24. ^ Rearick, Kristie (8 June 2014). "Philadelphia Zoo visitors 'paws' to gush over Black-footed Cat kittens". South Jersey Times. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
    25. ^ Jeffries, A. (2013). "Where Cats glow green: weird feline science in New Orleans". The Verge, 6 November
    26. ^ Burnette, S. (2011). Rare cats born through amazing science at Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species. Audubon Nature Institute, Press release of 10 March 2011.
    27. ^ Waller, M. (2012). – Audubon center in Algiers logs another breakthrough in genetic engineering of endangered cats New Orleans Net LLC, 13 March 2012

    Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
    provided by AnAge articles
    Maximum longevity: 15.6 years (captivity)


    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Black-footed cats are found in the savannas and grasslands of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, as well as small parts of Angola, Zimbabwe, and possible Lesotho.

    Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )


    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Black-footed cats are the smallest of African Felis species. The body is covered with light brown hair with black to dark brown spots covering the back, sides, and stomach. Dark brown stripes similar to the spots appear on the cheeks, front legs, haunches, and tail. In addition, the tip of the tail is solid black (about twice the thickness as the stripes around the tail). The tail averages 150 to 200 mm, about half the body length. The bottom of the feet, which are often visible due to their digitigrade style of walking, are black, giving this species its common name. Males are slightly larger than females, averaging 1.93 kg, compared to 1.3 kg for females.

    Range mass: 1 to 2.75 kg.

    Range length: 337 to 500 mm.

    Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

    Sexual Dimorphism: male larger


    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Black-footed cats inhabit dry grasslands, savannas, and deserts of southern Africa. The terrain they inhabit averages 100 to 500 mm of rainfall each year. They create dens in burrows or abandoned termite mounds and also shelter temporarily in dense thickets.

    Range elevation: 0 to 2000 m.

    Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

    Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; scrub forest

Trophic Strategy

    Trophic Strategy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Black-footed cats eat a wide variety of small animals, 98% of which are mammals and birds, mammals making up 72% and birds 26% of the diet. Animals weighing less than 40 g made up more than half of their prey base. Larger animals were mainly caught during winter, when smaller prey was unavailable. These larger animals may be cached for later use. The remaining 2% of prey items are made up of small amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.

    Animal Foods: birds; mammals; amphibians; reptiles

    Foraging Behavior: stores or caches food

    Primary Diet: carnivore (Eats terrestrial vertebrates)


    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Black-footed cats are dominant predators of small mammals and birds in areas they inhabit.

    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Little is known about predation on this species. Unlike many felids, human predation on these cats is relatively rare. Their nocturnal habits, secretive behavior, and spotted coats make it difficult to observe them.

    Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic


    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Because they are solitary, black-footed cats mostly communicate via scent marking, mainly urine-spraying. Urine-spraying has two main uses; both as advertisement for females to males pre-mating and for territory delineation. Mother and their young communicate vocally. Females scent mark most during times when they are sexually receptive, so it is thought to be mainly to attract male mates.

    Communication Channels: acoustic ; chemical

    Other Communication Modes: pheromones ; scent marks

    Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Life Expectancy

    Life Expectancy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Little is known about life expectancy in black-Footed cats, but they are thought to live up to 13 years, up to 15.6 years in captivity.

    Range lifespan
    Status: wild:
    13 (high) years.

    Range lifespan
    Status: captivity:
    15.6 (high) years.

    Average lifespan
    Status: wild:
    12.0 years.


    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Black-footed cats are likely polygynous, as male territories overlap with up to 5 female ranges, while female ranges usually only overlap with one male home range. Prior to mating, female urine-spraying increases to advertise her readiness to the local male. Breeding is the only time that black-footed cats are found associating with each other, except for females and their kittens. Males and females only associate for 5 to 10 hours for mating.

    Mating System: polygynous

    Black-footed cats mate in the fall, in August and September, giving birth to young in November to December in an underground den. Females may have multiple litters in a year and young have been recorded in dens as late as February. Females average 1 to 3 offspring in each litter (1 to 2 is more typical). Gestation takes 59 to 68 days and females give birth to young from 60 to 88 grams in weight. Young begin to venture out of their den at 3 weeks old and are fully weaned at about 6 weeks old, when they can begin to catch their own prey. Females become mature at 14 to 21 months old.

    Breeding interval: Black-footed cats can breed up to 4 times yearly, although fewer litters are more common.

    Breeding season: Black-footed cats can breed from the spring to the fall. Mating is most common in the spring.

    Range number of offspring: 1 to 3.

    Average number of offspring: 1.71.

    Range gestation period: 59 to 68 days.

    Average gestation period: 66 days.

    Range weaning age: 30 to 35 days.

    Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 14 to 21 months.

    Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 14.8 months.

    Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 14.5 months.

    Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

    Average birth mass: 72.4 g.

    Average number of offspring: 2.

    Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
    Sex: male:
    434 days.

    Female black-footed cats provide all post-copulation investment in offspring. Throughout gestation and lactation, females invest heavily in their young. Starting at about 3 weeks old, females begin to bring back live prey for their offspring to practice catching prey with. During this time females bring back as much as 50% of their catches in a night. Young may inherit territory from their mother.

    Parental Investment: precocial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); inherits maternal/paternal territory

Conservation Status

    Conservation Status
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Black-footed cat populations are decreasing due to habitat degradation, threats from hunters, and poisonous baits set for other predators. It is illegal to hunt black-footed cats in Botswana and South Africa. Their range includes several national parks and other wilderness areas, including Addo Elephant National Park, Karoo National Park, Makgadikgadi Pans, and Mountain Zebra National Park. Black-footed cats seem to be more rare than other small, African felids and populations seem to be fragmented. There is little known about their natural history.

    US Federal List: endangered

    CITES: appendix i

    IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: vulnerable


    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    There are no adverse effects of black-footed cats on humans, although they may bite in self-defense, such as when harassed. Their prey are small and do not include human livestock.

    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Black-footed cats are important predators of small rodents, which can be crop or household pests or carry diseases.

    Positive Impacts: controls pest population