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The sand cat is equipped for desert life. Large ears radiate heat. Covered with hair, its footpads are insulated from the hot sand. During extreme heat, the sand cat cools off in a burrow. The sand cat does not need to drink often as it gets enough moisture from its prey.

Learn more: The sand cat is one of the five small cat species with which the Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) works on its Small Cat Signature Project.

sand cat looking at camera

Did You Know?

Fur on the sane cat's paws protects them from the heat of desert sand

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Felis margarita

North Africa and Southwest Asia


1.3 to 1.9 ft

9 years

Zoo Location:
Night Hunters

Small rodents, lizards and insects

Risk Status:
Species at Risk (IUCN—Lower risk/near threatened )