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African golden cat in Uganda

Scientific name; Profelis aurata aka felis aurata

The African golden cat is about twice the size of a large domestic cat and robustly built, weighing as much as 16 kg (26 lb). Its fur varies from marmalade orange-red to sepia-gray, and each color phase may be spotted all over, unspotted, or somewhere in between. The throat, chest, and undersides are invariably white or whitish, and the belly is marked with bold dark spots or blotches. Its tail may be distinctly banded, unbanded, or anything in between.

Distribution the African golden cat


The primary habitat of the African golden cat is in the moist forest zone of Equatorial Africa. It is able to live in many types of forest, including primary forest, secondary vegetation, and riverine forest where watercourses penetrate more open habitat. It is known from montane forest, alpine moorland, and bamboo forest at elevations up to 3000 m (10,000'). The African golden cat apparently adapts well to logged areas with a dense understory, probably because destruction of the canopy favors the dense secondary undergrowth with which this cat is often associated.

Where to find the African golden cat in Uganda


Whereas this cat is rarely seen in the west African forests it is widespread in western Uganda and where it has been recorded in every forested Uganda national park except semiliki.

What the African golden cat eats


The African golden cat is an opportunistic hunter, taking small mammals (e.g. groove-toothed rats, swamp rats, water rats, cane rats, and hyraxes), mainly rodents, but also larger prey such as duikers and livestock (sheep and goats), as well as birds and fish

Although it has been suggested that the African golden cat is arboreal, its stocky build and rather short tail, combined with its presence in alpine moorland, would suggest that it is primarily a terrestrial hunter.

There are several observations of the African golden cat hunting during the daytime, but based on the activity patterns of its reported prey, it is likely to be primarily crepuscular and nocturnal. The African golden cat is solitary.

How to identify the African golden cat


Size: The head and body length of the African golden cat is 60 - 100 cm (24 - 39"). It weighs 5.3 - 12.

Age to Maturity: One African golden cat in captivity came into sat 11 months of age, and a male sired his first litter at 18 months. The only other record is of a captive female who first reproduced at 4 years of age

Gestation; Seventy-five days (n = 2) (captivity)

Birth Season: A pregnant female was taken in Uganda in September

Maximum Age: Just over 12 years

Behavior


Although it has been suggested that the African golden cat is, its stocky build and rather short tail, combined with its presence in alpine moorland, would suggest that it is primarily a terrestrial hunter. There are several observations of the African golden cat hunting during the daytime, but based on the activity patterns of its reported prey, this species is likely to be primarily crepuscular and nocturnal .The African golden cat seems to have no aversion to water, and it will hunt among reed beds in swampy habitats

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