Fun Asiatic Wildcat Cat Kids Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
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Asiatic wildcat facts are great for kids.

The Asiatic wildcat (Felis lybica ornata) is also known by its other names, the Asian steppe wildcat or the Indian desert wildcat. This wildcat is a subspecies of the African wildcat and is predominantly seen in Asian countries.

Compared to the African or European wildcat variants, this wildcat inhabits arid and semi-arid areas. However, diverse habitat patterns are also seen.

It is a small-sized cat that can be easily confused with domestic cats. Its body is covered in sandy or reddish-brown fur that has distinct spots and bands.

This cat is a nocturnal hunter that likes to live a solitary life except during the mating season. Currently, as it is recognized as a subspecies, the IUCN gives it the status of Least Concern under the wildcat species complex.

Continue reading for more interesting Asiatic wildcat facts! Also, check out our articles on the African wildcat and black-maned lions to know more about our favorite felines!

Asiatic Wildcat Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Asiatic wildcat?

The Asiatic wildcat (Felis lybica ornata) is a subspecies of African wildcats.

What class of animal does an Asiatic wildcat belong to?

The Asiatic wildcat belongs to the class Mammalia and to the family Felidae that also contains big cats like tigers and lions.

How many Asiatic wildcats are there in the world?

Rather than being observed as a separate subspecies, Asiatic wildcats are often included in the wildcat species complex that also contains European wildcats. Little is known about the exact populations of Asiatic wildcats.

Where does an Asiatic wildcat live?

The populations of these wild cats can be found in places like western India, western China, Central Asia, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.

What is an Asiatic wildcat's habitat?

This wild cat species is mostly known to inhabit drier areas like deserts and semi-deserts. However, variations have been observed in habitat, as in Central Asia, the cat inhabits coastal areas and river basins.

This species is also known as the Indian desert cat as it is found in the western state of Rajasthan where it lives in semi-desert areas.

Who do Asiatic wildcats live with?

Like most other cat species, the Asiatic wildcat is also solitary and is quite territorial. Moreover, these cats are rarely seen in a group except during the breeding season.

How long does an Asiatic wildcat live?

Just like the European wildcat, the average lifespan of the Asiatic wildcat is between 11-15 years while living in the wild. However, for domesticated cats, this range can go up to 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

As a subspecies of the African wildcat, both cats share similar mating rituals and patterns. However, the cats living in Asia will differ in the breeding season based on their geographical location and habitat.

Like other cats, the female Asian wildcat has estrus cycles, and the males may compete with each other to mate. It is noted that most Asiatic wildcats mate and breed throughout the year compared to their African counterpart.

The average gestation period in Asiatic wildcat reproduction lasts for 56-68 days, and the average litter size range is two to four kittens.

Wildcats may breed with a domestic cat to produce feral domestic hybrids. Moreover, when kept as a domestic cat, the Indian desert cat can breed three or more times a year.

What is their conservation status?

Asiatic wildcats aren't listed separately in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list and are included under the wildcat species complex with the status of Least Concern. Even though the Asiatic wildcat endangered is not a thing, these cats have come under the threat of human-cat conflict.

Asiatic Wildcats Fun Facts

What do Asiatic wildcats look like?

One way that the Asiatic wildcat is considered a subspecies of the African variant is by its appearance. The fur is sandy, gray-yellow or reddish in color, with red or brown spots which gives this cat a distinct look.

Like other wildcats, these fairly small cats also have a broad and bulky look, but its short fur cover gives it a slimmer look. The underside of the body is pale yellow or almost white.

This pale fur is also seen on its face, especially near the chin and eyes. Stripes are present on its thighs and tail.

It also has a long tail length and it has a tapered shape. In India and Pakistan, more prominent small brown spots on the cat's trunk and flanks can be seen.

Asiatic Wildcat Cat

* Please note that this is an image of an African wildcat, one of the parent breeds of the Asiatic wildcat. If you have an image of an Asiatic wildcat please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

How cute are they?

We can never make the mistake of not calling a cat cute. The Asiatic wildcat looks just as adorable as the average domestic cat.

How do they communicate?

Like other cats, the Asiatic wildcat also vocalizes to communicate with its mate and ward off predators. It also makes use of urine to mark its territory and to attract mates.

How big is an Asiatic wildcat?

The average body length range of the Asiatic wildcat is around 18.5-29.1 in (47-74 cm). It also has an additional tail length of 8.6-14 in (21-36 cm). In comparison, the African golden cat has a body length of 24-40 in (61-101.6 cm).

How fast can an Asiatic wildcat run?

As a subspecies of the African wildcat, we can assume that the Asian variant is also able to run at a speed of up to 49.7 mph (80 kph).

How much does an Asiatic wildcat weigh?

The average weight range of this wild cat species is around 4.4-13.2 lb (2-6 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

In the Asian steppe wildcat species, the male is called a tom while the female is called a queen.

What would you call a baby Asiatic wildcat?

An Asian steppe wildcat baby is called a kitten.

What do they eat?

Unlike domestic cats, the wildcat is a solitary nocturnal hunter that is great at catching its prey. The most common prey are desert gerbils, hares, birds, small rodents, insects, and reptiles. In Rajasthan, India, these cats also prey on snakes like cobras and saw-scaled vipers.

Are they dangerous?

These aren't inherently dangerous to humans, but they may attack if necessary.

Would they make a good pet?

If you live in India or Central Asia, you might have one of these wild cats as pets if the species tend to live close to your home. However, it would be illegal to have the wild cat as a pet if you reside elsewhere. The Asiatic wildcat is also currently under conservation due to illegal hunting and poaching.

Did you know...

This wildcat species complex contains the European wildcat and the African wildcat.

These wildcats are adept at climbing trees.

Do Asiatic wildcats travel in packs?

No, Asiatic wildcats do not travel in packs, but you can see Indian desert cat females traveling with their kittens in a group just after the breeding season.

Can wildcats be tamed?

Yes, wildcats can be tamed and there have been several instances where these cats have been domesticated. Moreover, these animals can also mate with domestic cats giving rise to feral domestic hybrids.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our white tiger and Siberian tiger pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Asiatic Wildcat Cat coloring pages.

* Please note that this is an image of an African wildcat, one of the parent breeds of the Asiatic wildcat. If you have an image of an Asiatic wildcat please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.
 

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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