Looking at a black-footed cat, you might think that this tiny, spotted feline, native to arid parts of Southern Africa, would make an adorable pet. But you’d be wrong. Dead wrong. Usually weighing three or four pounds (under 2 kg) and standing around 10 inches (25 cm) tall, this little dynamo is one of the deadliest felines in the world. Comparatively, this stone-cold killer captures more prey in a night than a leopard does in six months. The black-footed cat's predation success rate has been estimated to be an astounding 60 percent. Compare that to a lion, which catches its prey only 20-25 percent of the time.
This cat's a killer:
- The black-footed cat (also known as the small-spotted cat) catches and kills an average of 10 to 14 rodents or small birds every night, due to a very fast metabolism that requires the predator to hunt almost constantly.
- Black-footed cats hunt mainly small prey, such as rodents and small birds, but they are capable of taking down larger birds, hares, and even antelope calves.
- These fierce cats are found only in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. They are considered to be a “vulnerable" species, mostly because of a loss of habitat.