About the Author

Keagan Chasenski

Guest contributor

Keagan has always had a connection with wildlife, having been lucky enough to visit Londolozi as a child. After growing up in Johannesburg, he attended boarding school in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands where weekends were spent exploring the reserve and appreciating his surroundings. ...

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on Wildly African – The African Wildcat

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How fantastic to spot one of these cats. They do resemble the typical domesticated cat, but after you pointed out the differences, I can see now that they are definitely a breed of their own. Thanks for the research.

Always a pleasure Denise.

Hi Keagan, my joy was immense as I read the title! As an ethologist one of my favourite species is the African wild cat and small felines in general. They are incredibly smart and skilled creatures indeed, I am not surprised you managed to spot one among all those ferocious big predators! Recently there were researchers investigating into domestic cats genetics and behaviour. Surprisingly to many, their dna is very alike all over the world, and their behaviour as well, with only three domestic cat breeds sharing three common definite distinctive behavioural schemes. It seems that, after all, a cat is a cat! Eagerly waiting to read any further findings! Big thank you!

Thank you for that Francesca, I am thrilled you love them! I am so glad there is constant research into these animals, and very interesting indeed that there are only three distinctive behavioural schemes. I will certainly be reading into that further!

Master Tracker

Wowzer, jealous . I’ve only had a single sighting along with a few Serval sightings.

One day, one day – there will be the Londolozi Caracal (I suspect in the plains area)

I too am still waiting for that Londolozi Caracal! Very special sightings, for you, I am sure of the Serval Ian.

Great blog on wildcats, Keagan, and great photos. I have been able to see some of these shy creatures on safari, however, have never been able to take a decent picture of them. Mostly because they had been half hidden in high grass and, of course, it was dark.
It is really interesting that our domesticated cats are in many ways closer to their wild relatives than dogs. That’s what I especially like about cats – all kinds of cats.

Senior Digital Ranger

Loved this blog piece! Few people even know they exist because everyone focuses on the larger predators. I am fascinated by these direct descendants of our domesticated cats and it’s fascinating how our domestic cats often throw back to the coloring of the African Wild cats. Great write up and fabulous photos! How lucky you were to see one! So cool 🙂

Thank you, Johanna, they are marvellous animals! The link to domesticated cats is still very strong.

Keagan these wild cats are beautiful and I love their long legs. Yes we tend to overlook the wild cat and don’t take to much notice of them. We live in a reserve and we heard cats fighting outside our window one night. Do you think that could be wild cats fighting. We are not allowed to have domestic dogs and cats here because we live in a reserve, but there are people who do smuggle their cats and dogs in, which is the bain of our lives. We want to see and hear only the wild animals roaming free between the houses.

Senior Digital Ranger

Quite an elegant creature!

Keagan, great catch with spying the eyes a night. Beautiful pictures and thanks for the update.

Very interesting blog Keagan, thank you. I would imagine that’s a pretty rare sighting?
I’m curious as to why domestic and wild cats have vertical slit pupils as opposed to the round pupils of the larger cats, when they have so much else in common. Any ideas?

Very cool Keagan! Thanks for all the information. One question; if they are so adaptable to various environments and successful hunters, why are they harder to come by in your sightings?

I love seeing wild cats, the European and Asiatic ones too. To think how different and similar a domestic cat is to them.

It’s truly fascinating how cats have been domesticated throughout ancient history and are still wild. As much as I like dogs they NEED us, cats just benefit from us and could do perfectly fine without us.

I saw one of these beauties on my November trip and consider myself blessed.

Hoping and waiting for the day that I get to see an African Wildcat on safari!

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