Table of contents:

Steppe Cat: Lifestyle, Habitat, Keeping In Captivity, Breeding And Feeding Of The Cat
Steppe Cat: Lifestyle, Habitat, Keeping In Captivity, Breeding And Feeding Of The Cat

Video: Steppe Cat: Lifestyle, Habitat, Keeping In Captivity, Breeding And Feeding Of The Cat

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Steppe cat is an affectionate pet or a wild predator

Steppe cat
Steppe cat

Many are interested in the question of what happened long before the emergence of the modern way of man. How ancient people lived, what they thought about, as well as what surrounded them - these are eternal questions that scientists are exploring today, discovering more and more information about the life of our distant ancestors. Not surprisingly, thousands of years ago people had pets similar to those we keep at home today. One of these favorites is the steppe cat, which was domesticated by ancient people and delighted them with its purr, filling the cold caves with tenderness and comfort.

Content

  • 1 What is a steppe cat
  • 2 Habitat
  • 3 Animal lifestyle in the wild
  • 4 Nutrition
  • 5 Reproduction and life expectancy
  • 6 Steppe cat in captivity

What is a steppe cat

The steppe or spotted cat is an animal from the feline family, a subspecies of wild forest cats. This is one of the most ancient pets that lived next to humans as far back as the 10th century BC. Today, the steppe cat is widespread in the wild and bears many similarities to the modern domestic cat. A distinctive feature of the spotted predator is its edge - the coat is densely stuffed, with a good undercoat. The animal has a "wild" color, which is found in experimental domesticated cats. Most often they are fawn with indistinct dark spots covering the entire body. On the sides and head, the spots can merge, forming stripes, the chest and neck are noticeably lighter, they have a grayish-white tint. The general coat color can be light yellow or sandy, almost brown.

Steppe cat color
Steppe cat color

On the body of the steppe cat there are numerous fuzzy spots merging into stripes on the head, paws and tail.

The dimensions of the steppe cat are not too large, the length of its body varies from 50 to 75 centimeters with a maximum weight of 6 kilograms. The ancient cat has developed muscles, massive paws and a hunting position, the animal is very graceful, a predator is felt in every movement. Its tail is slightly longer than that of a domestic cat, it is thin and can reach almost 40 centimeters. There is a beautiful pattern on the tail, consisting of black rings. The ears and eyes are small in size, the color of the iris is yellow-green, the pupils are the same as those of a domestic cat - vertical, slit-like. The paw pads are not covered with wool, the steppe cat's movements are graceful, he walks track in track, placing his paw very carefully.

Habitat

Despite its name, the steppe cat does not like open areas too much; it settles in semi-desert and steppe zones with an abundance of thickets and shrubs. Mountainous terrain is also suitable for this animal, but the cat does not climb above 3000 meters above sea level. The habitat of the animal is wide, it can be found in the mountainous African regions, India, Central and Northern Asia and the Caucasus. On the territory of Russia, the animal is rare, its traces, and if you're lucky, the animal itself can be seen in the semi-deserts of the Astrakhan region. The spotted cat lives closer to water bodies, in thickets of plants, avoiding open areas and places where a large amount of precipitation falls.

Steppe cat in nature
Steppe cat in nature

Steppe cat prefers an area with an abundance of thickets and shrubs

Animal lifestyle in the wild

Steppe cats lead the lifestyle of hermits, they live and hunt one by one, meeting with the opposite sex only during the mating period. Spotted cats go hunting mainly in the evening or at night, during the day they hide in shelters. They hide in bushes or in the burrows of large animals such as foxes and porcupines. During the hunt, they guard near the villages of small rodents, observing the colonies either from afar, or waiting near the holes. These cats are very dexterous, they are excellent hunters, and if a victim catches their eyes, then she will hardly be able to escape.

Faced with another predator, steppe cats behave in the same way as domestic cats, trying to scare away the enemy. They arch their backs, their fur becomes "on end", turning sideways to the enemy, the animals begin to hiss aggressively - thus they try to appear larger and scare the enemy. If the collision is not avoided, then the cat falls on its back and fights back with all four paws, using long and sharp claws.

Food

The main craft of the steppe cat is hunting, which he does an excellent job, since he has all the necessary tools for this. Sharp claws that hide in the paw pads, long fangs that can dig into the integument of the victim, and a rough tongue with horny outgrowths that allows you to lick the bones of the prey white. The main food is small animals, namely:

  • mice;
  • rats;
  • gophers;
  • jerboas;
  • steppe turtles.

Thanks to its claws, the predator perfectly climbs trees, where it can plunder a nest with bird eggs or chicks. Turtle eggs are also pleasant prey, the location of which is determined by cats with the help of scent, after which they dig them out of the ground and eat. Spotted cats do not disdain fish, which they catch in the nearest water bodies, running lizards and some insects, for example, locusts or dragonflies. This animal is not large, so small prey is more than enough for it. Cats do not hide the caught food in reserve, they eat everything they need, and the next day they go hunting again. Before each outing, the steppe dweller carefully licks himself to wash off all odors and be inconspicuous for a future dinner.

Reproduction and life expectancy

The breeding season (rut) in steppe cats and cats in Russia begins in winter at the end of January - February. At this time, silent animals begin to scream loudly, they behave in the same way as everyone else's usual "March" cats. Males sort things out, fighting for the female, and after fertilization, the cat bears kittens for 60 days. The wild predator is able to bear and give birth from two to six kittens, which are born blind with tight auditory canals and weighing 40 grams. By the end of the second week of life, babies begin to open their eyes and hear. They suck milk for up to 2–2.5 months, after which the cat teaches babies to eat meat.

Steppe cat kitten
Steppe cat kitten

Already from 12 weeks, the steppe cat takes its offspring to hunt in order to train

Teaching to hunt, the mother brings the kittens first dead prey, then tortured, and then live food. Already by 12 weeks, the cat begins to take babies with it to hunt and at the end of the 8th month of life. After kittens have completely replaced all teeth, they are able to live and hunt separately. While the kittens are a small cat, they do not let anyone near them, even the father of the family. At a year and a half, grown females can bear offspring, reproductive ability in males wakes up only from 2.5 years. In the wild, a steppe cat lives from 7 to 10 years, depending on conditions.

Steppe cat in captivity

These animals can be found in some zoos, where they live in enclosures, separately from each other. A captive cat's diet consists of raw meat.If the food is live, for example, mice or other rodents, the cat will react more vividly to their appearance. Keeping a steppe cat at home is not recommended, it will not give tenderness and affection, which is inherent in pets. It should not be forgotten that this is a wild predator that needs a lot of space to spend its energy. Steppe cats are smart animals, so it is possible to train them to live with a person, there are cases when a steppe cat, taken by a kitten, ate dry food and went to the toilet on the tray.

It is impossible to buy this animal freely, it can get to a person for maintenance from poachers or in the event that you find a small kitten in the wild. It is impossible to tame an adult cat, but it will not be easy with a baby either, since the gene of an aggressive hunter and predator will remain in it forever. The owners of these exotic pets claim that the grown-up pet remains friendly to them, and aggression often arises towards other family members or guests. A stranger who stepped into the territory of the steppe cat will meet with a defensive reaction, the cat will hiss and attack the guest.

As for education, the spotted cat can become your friend, but not your ward. If a person treats her with aggression, shouts or punishes, she will immediately attack. It is not allowed to play with the animal with bare hands; it is better to pick up strong handwheels and hard toys. These animals love water, so pool games are welcome. It is necessary to provide the animal with access to a large territory, it is important to let the cat free-range every day so that he can run and hunt. Raw beef and chicken should be used for feed, the volume of food eaten per day should not exceed 7% of the cat's weight.

The steppe cat is a wild animal that lives in semi-desert and mountainous areas with a temperate climate. They are excellent hunters, leading a nocturnal lifestyle. During the day they hide in the holes of small animals, waiting for darkness. In captivity, animals rarely take root, they cannot be found on free sale. You can see the steppe or spotted cat in most zoos, where mainly animals brought from the Astrakhan region live.

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