• 29 November 2023

Arabian (desert) cat

 Arabian (desert) cat

Arabian cats are one of the small predators that inhabit the desert areas of Africa and central Asia. This is a very interesting individual that is worth paying attention to. The desert cat from English Sand Cat or Sand Dune Cat is a wild predator. We can meet this individual in the above-mentioned places, or in the zoo.

History of the desert cat

The Arabian cat or Felis Margarita is a predatory cat that we will not meet at home. This individual lives in the desert areas of Africa and central Asia. It was first described in 1858 by one of the French naturalists, Victor Loche, who participated in a trip to the Sahara. Interestingly, the Latin name of this cat, Felis Margarita, was given in reference to one of the expedition’s commanders,  Jean Auguste Margueritte. In the 1970s, these wild cats were caught in Pakistan and taken to zoos around the world.

Characteristics of a desert cat

The desert cat is about the same size as a domestic cat. The body weight of males ranges from 2 to 4 kg, while in females from 1.5 kg to 3 kg. The average body length is about 50 cm. These wild individuals have characteristic, medium-length fur. It is sand color. On the other hand, around the chest and belly, the color of the coat is lightened, almost white. On the body, they have characteristic stripes, giving them charm. The stripes are less pronounced on the back than on the limbs and tail. Cats of this breed have a characteristic head that gives them a wonderful appearance. Its shape is slightly flattened than in domestic cats and forms a characteristic triangle. They have large ears, slightly tilted forward. The ears are pointed, and the inside of them is covered with light hairs, which are designed to protect the ear organs from pollution. The color of the ears is tan, sandy or fawn at the base, becoming darker towards the base of the tips. The eyes of desert cats are green. In addition, they are slightly oblique and large in size. In most cases, the fur of the desert cat is short. Except for individuals living in Asia. In this case, their winter fur reaches a length of 5 cm.

Interestingly, Felis Margarita has characteristic hairs that cover the underside of their paws. They play a protective role against extreme temperatures.


Arabian cats are predatory animals, classified as wild cats. They lead a solitary, nocturnal lifestyle. He spends the middle of the day resting in his cool burrow, which protects him from excessive heat of the environment.

These cats travel about 10 km every day in search of food. This type of cat eats mainly: gerbils, wild birds, lizards, snakes, and insects.

Finally, the Arabian cat, otherwise known as the desert cat, is a wild individual that can be found in the Sahara, the Arabian Peninsula, western Egypt, on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and central Asia near the Caspian Sea. Desert cats have been entered into the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, in the category of high risk individuals. The lives of these cats are threatened by the increasing urbanization of the environment. It should be noted that these cats are protected and in several countries it is forbidden to hunt and trade them!

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