African Golden Cat - Profelis aurataBy: C.M.Shorter
The African Golden Cat
is a shy, solidly
built cat inhabiting the forests of equatorial Africa. They
are so shy that no dens with kittens have been studied from
the wild and very few have been raised in captivity making
them difficult to research. The African Golden Cat frequently
occupies the same territories as the Leopard
hence their common name "The Leopard's Brother".
These cats are arboreal and have been seen in field studies
on lower branches of trees during the day. This striking
felid is usually found high in the Rainforests, but they
also inhabit drier woodlands as long as they are near water.
They are known to inhabit high mountainous areas up to
3,600 metres living in alpine moorlands, sub-alpine and
These cats are typically found in two different colors - red
or gray which were once thought to be two separate species.
Their cheeks, chin and under parts are whitish in color with
their belly and inner sides of limbs marked with a variable
amount of dark spotting. Body coloring ranges from chestnut
through fawn to silver, with varying marking: spotted all
over, spots on the back and neck, no pattern except on flanks,
and no pattern except for their belly. The African Golden
Cat's head is relatively small sporting a large muzzle, with
beautiful eye coloration with irises from green to golden
brown, ears are rounded with black backsides. Melanistic
individuals have been known to occur.
Prey consists of rodents, monkeys, duiker, hyrax, other small
ungulates and a variety of birds usually taken by stalking
and rushing at ground level. Fortunately, the African Golden
Cat adapts well to logged areas which provides a dense secondary
undergrowth which they favor. These type of man-made "edge
environments" contain a high density of rodents. However,
primary forest without human disturbance is their optimal
habitat. African Golden Cats rank high in the local religious
beliefs of the Cameroon pygmy tribesman who carry their tail
as a talisman to protect them when hunting elephants. It
is said that their fur is so valued for tribal robes, it
is not usually traded by the indigenous people. In fact,
these cats are so prized by the locals, these same tribesman
will not reveal their location to researchers.
In Uganda's Bwindi National Park eradication of the Leopard
has left the African Golden Cat the dominant carnivorous predator
in the area. Hunting is prohibited in only 12 of the Golden
Cat's 26 range countries at present.
Here Now to Adopt a Sanctuary Animal for your Very Own!
Scientific Name: Profelis aurata
Common Name(s): African Golden Cat, Leopard's Brother
Range: Equatorial Africa
Average Weight: 11-14kg (24-30 lbs)
Length: 75-140 cm (30"-57") Tail no more than 50% of
head & body length
Diet: Carnivorous. African Golden Cat's prey consists mostly
of rodents, monkeys, duiker, hyrax, other small ungulates and
birds. These cats are known to scavenge other predator's kills.
Gestation Period: 75-78 Days (Eyes open in 6-7 days), weaned
at 3-4 months.
Cub Maturity: 22 months - 2 Years
Cubs Per Litter: 1 - 3 Kittens
Lifespan: 10-12 Years
Predators: Man. Larger Carnivores occupying the same territory.
Social Structure: Solitary (except during Mating Season)
Territory Size: 15-30 miles
Conservation Status: Present Status and Population Unknown. African
Golden Cats are currently protected under Appendix II of CITES,
Endangered Species Act.
As always, we hope you will take a moment to visit our world renowned Animal
Cams, and visit
our TigerHomes Sanctuary's
Center. You are invited to take your own snapshots
and enter our Picture
Gallery Contest for a chance to win a prize.
The SANCTUARY is a permanent home to Rare
White Tigers, Golden
Lions and Lemurs.
are quite the characters and simply amazing to
watch in their natural habitats. It is our Mission to
preserve and protect these Endangered Species. You can help save
Species right now through by visiting our Gift
take a moment to help us by sponsoring our work. TigerHomes Sanctuary
welcomes and needs your support.