Sand cats, also known as sand dune cats, are the only cats found in deserts. These small animals live in the deserts of North Africa and Central Asia. They can tolerate both sandy and stony deserts, and living far away from sources of water. Sand cats have thick, furry feet, and are well-adjusted to living in extremely hot or cold temperatures. However, they're categorized as "near threatened" because of their small and declining population.
These amusing felines look like a kitten, even as an adult. They have a stocky build with short legs and a long tail. Sandy fur covers their back, with various patterns of black stripes or spots. They have very large ear canals, giving them the sense of hearing they need to survive in the wild, and have long hairs between their toes to protect their feet while walking over hot sand. The bit quotient of sand cats is 1331.1, which is the highest of all cats.
Sand cats are distributed out widely among deserts, and prefer to inhabit flat terrain with little vegetation. In extreme conditions, these felines retreat into burrows. Of course, they drink water when it is available, but they are able to survive for months on the water in their food alone. They live independently (aside from mating season) and guard their territory using claw marks, scent, and urine spraying. Sand cats are generally more active during the night, and can run at fast speeds - up to 40 miles per hour. These animals prey on small rodents, and sometimes bury their food to eat later.
These creatures, without a doubt, are incredibly cute. However, due to habitat degradation by humans, less and less sand cats remain in the wild each year. They are a productive species of this world, and deserve to continue to thrive. Sand cats do not do very well in captivity, as the wild is their true home. In the future, we must make our choices wisely to ensure a life for endangered animals, including these precious cats.