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In the droughty regions of Asia and Africa the beautiful predatory animal — a barkhan cat meets. What do we know about the fluffy inhabitant of the desert except that it lives in the wild nature and is on the verge of disappearance? Barkhan, or velvet, the cat leads a reserved life. However scientists by means of modern watch facilities could track it and describe the habitat, features of food and an animal habit.
Sandy, or barkhan, it was opened by the famous French general of Margueritte who headed the Algerian expedition in 1950 and found an unusual animal. From here and the Latin name of a cat — "felis margarita".
Feature of a cat — the small size. Length of a body of an animal reaches at most 69 cm, and its most part is the share of a tail. The weight of a sandy cat is only 3.5 kg.
The color of wool is brought closer to sand that allows a cat to merge with the environment at the attack of larger predator or during hunting. Appearance at cat's quite perceptible:
The barkhan cat lives in droughty zones — in deserts or the rocky area where temperature is not less than 55 degrees in summertime, and in winter — 25 degrees Celsius.
These surprisingly beautiful predators lead mainly a nocturnalism . They leave the hole only after the sun sets. The territory of dwelling of a cat sometimes reaches 15 km — to be supported, the animal can pass up to 10 km.
Sometimes territories of several cats adjoin with each other or are even crossed, but the hostility between owners does not happen. After the animal is supported, it will return to the shelter. It will be optional his own house — the empty hole of a fox, porcupine or other animal perfectly will approach.
The barkhan cat can sometimes hide in mountain crevices, but to a thicket she prefers to create own dwelling. Strong and strong paws perfectly help to cope with this task and to quickly dig out a hole of the necessary size.
Cats are very careful. Before leaving a mink or to come into her, listen and define whether there is no danger nearby. They are very sensitive to rainfall and the slightest changes in weather and try not to leave a hole during a rain. At movement the cat gathers tremendous speed — to 40 km/h. It allows it to overtake even the most bright game and to run away from dangers.
The barkhan cat is not choosy in food quite and with pleasure absorbs any small game . The mouse, a jerboa or a lizard can become his production. Snakes should be afraid of a cat too — if they occur in the path of a predator, the cat with pleasure will regale on snake meat. The cat with one blow can bring down and deafen a snake therefore the reptile practically has no chances.
The barkhan cat extremely seldom drinks water. She lives in quite droughty area, and therefore got used to do without moisture long and receives it generally from food.
The marriage season begins at each couple of cats differently. Everything will depend on the area of accommodation and presence of the partner. In one dung there can be about 8 kittens, but no more than 5 most often are born. The cat of cubs bears 2 months.
Kittens — up to 30 grams are born small . The cat protects a mink till that time while kids do not begin to hunt and get livelihood. Kittens gain weight very quickly, and eyes open already to the termination of the second week of life.
Five weeks later after birth kids begin to learn to dig at mother of a mink and to hunt. And in 7 months go to independent "swimming" on life. Till this time feeds them and protects mother.
Sandy cats of times a year breed. Season does not influence this process. At this time males make the barking sounds, drawing attention of females. And here in usual life they, as well as pets, are able to purr, mew and hiss. If not to know that this wild animal, it is possible to take it for the domestic lost cat.
To watch life of a barkhan cat very difficult, he leads quite reserved life . But thanks to the modern equipment scientists managed to learn very many interesting facts from life of this surprising being.
Cats are very good hunters. But at the same time they remain absolutely imperceptible. On small pillows of paws at them there is a lot of dense and rigid wool that does gait absolutely silent, and on sand there is no trace left.
The reserve of an animal is shown in everything. Not to be the noticed other predators or the person, the cat buries the excrement deeply in sand. And during hunting he blinks eyes that the moonlight did not glare and did not give it.
In house conditions to meet a cat it is possible very seldom. He is included in the Red List as the look coming to disappearance. An animal it is possible to buy in some nurseries at very high price, but such transaction will be illegal — officially is forbidden to be sold cats .
The barkhan cat is in some countries on the verge of disappearance. It is caught and killed because of valuable fluffy fur. Therefore if people do not begin to care for preservation of population of an animal, shortly it can be seen only in a zoo or the reserve.