Caitlin UltimoPet Parenting / Pet Stories

Africa’s Smallest Cat Is Also The Deadliest

“And though she be but little, she is fierce.” Shakespeare wrote this line in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to describe the character Hermia, but those words could also be used to describe the black-footed cat of Africa. The tiny black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) is the deadliest wild cat in the world, according to BBC’s new “Big Cats” series. It’s also the smallest wild cat in Africa and the second smallest wild cat in the world. (The smallest wild cat is the rusty spotted cat.)

An adult black-footed cat is about 14 to 20 inches long (not counting its tail) and weighs only about 2 to 5 pounds. While it looks like a house cat, it’s fierce like a lion. The second episode of the BBC’s “Big Cats” series shows an adult black-footed cat named Gyra stalking a bird. She walks up to 20 miles a night in search of prey, and when she strikes, she means business. She hits her target 60 percent of the time, according to a preview of the episode. That success rate is what makes them the most lethal of all cats.

So don’t let the black-footed cat’s small size fool you. Though she be but little, she is fierce.


By: Stephanie Brown

Featured Image: BBC

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