7. Hunters: African wildcat

African wildcats hunt alone, spending several hours a day meeting their nutritional needs. Not every attempt is successful so they will hunt before they are hungry to ensure sufficient food is caught each day. They eat many small rodent sized prey items per day, each providing a small amount of energy. They will hunt in their wider territory, but bring their prey back to eat in the relative safety of the ‘core area’ of their territory.

Lots of energy is used with each hunting expedition and endorphins (happy hormones) are released during every stage of the hunt.

Did you know?

Cats are perfectly adapted for hunting with excellent eye-sight, especially in low light, sensitive hearing, and a great sense of balance. They use a ‘stalk and pounce’ method rather than chasing prey down. Cats are attracted by movement. Hunting behaviour is not hunger driven.

Did you know?

Did you know African wildcats need about 270 calories per day and a mouse is only about 30 calories!

African wildcat hunting

African wildcats are crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk) which is when their prey is most active.

Original image URL - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kristofor/5119347650/ Image author - Kristofor & Rebekah (no real name given), licence - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A wild rodent

They are obligate carnivores so they must eat meat and therefore cannot be vegetarian.

Original image URL - http://www.flickr.com/photos/honzasoukup/3096769523/ Image author - Honza Soukup , licence - CC BY 2.0