Family: Felidae (cats)
Classification: Mammalia (mammals)
Place of Origin: Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and arid areas of Pakistan and northwestern India
Lifespan (in wild): 12-17 years
Weight: 15-42 pounds
Body size: 33-48 inches long
Top speed: 50 mph.
Habitat: Caracals typically use abandoned porcupine burrows and rock crevices for maternal dens, but can be found with their young in dense vegetation
- The caracal is the origin of the expression ‘put the cat among the pigeons’. In ancient India and Iran, trained caracals were released into arenas containing a flock of pigeons. Wagers were then placed on how many birds the cat would take down in a leap
- Through their strong hind legs, they can jump 10 feet (3 meters) high even in a sitting position – the height of the basketball hoop!. Their powerful hind legs propel them into the air, making them expert tree climbers and hunters
- Caracal is the fastest of the smaller African wildcats. Many sources claim they can reach a top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) for short bursts
- The ear tips of the caracal are pointed and hairy, their ears are used to locate prey and are controlled by 20 individual muscles.
Annual Cost of Care
Through our Adopt a Species program, you have an opportunity to provide for this animal’s needs by paying for the annual cost of care. Check out our Donate page for other ways you can give!