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Natural UAE

Arabian Wildcat

The Arabian wildcat (Felis silvestris gordoni) is found in the mountains, on the gravel plains, as well as in the sand deserts of the northern Emirates but it is probably absent from the sands of the Liwa. Although they do not require to drink water, they need a regular supply of prey species such as gerbils, jirds and jerboas through which they obtain the required moisture. They also hunt birds and will occasionally eat large insects. Wildcats are ash-grey to buff in colour with fine darker grey speckling on back and flanks and a whitish underside. The back of their ears is orange and the slightly bushy tail has three black rings ending in a black tip, while the underside of all four feet is also black. It is a shy animal that hunts at night and spends the day in hiding. Adapted to life in the wild, the wildcat is very strong and agile and can defend itself fiercely if it is cornered. They breed all year around, the female giving birth to a litter of two to three kittens in a rock crevice, hollow tree or an empty fox burrow. Similar in size to the domestic cat, it unfortunately interbreeds readily with the latter, which will probably result in the species becoming extinct.

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