I don’t have to tell you that wildcats are a hot topic around these parts, but how many of us really know about all the different types of these amazing animals?
The first noteworthy wildcat is the Andean mountain cat, which inhabits the Andes mountains of South America. This cat is about the size of a cute, little house cat. It may seem bigger, but that is only because it has extremely thick fur as to survive the cold temperatures at an altitude of 11,000 to 16,000 feet. Think of this cat as a miniature-sized, South American twin to the snow leopard.
The next cat we have is called the fishing cat. It lives along streams and swamps in Southeast Asia. This is cat is about twice as big as a house cat, and the name gives away the obvious fact that fishing cats love fish! They are nocturnal hunters, and can swim great lengths. It has a more muscular build than most wildcats, and an olive-colored fur coat.
Southern Africa is the home of the black-footed cat. As the smallest cat in Africa it has to be a “rough and tough” kind of hunter. The black-footed cat lives mostly around Zimbabwe, and is rarely seen since it is strictly a nocturnal hunter. Legend has it that this cat can take down a giraffe. Whether this is true or not, it definitely adds to this cat’s reputation.
The sand cat, living in North Africa, is a true desert dweller. Its fur is extremely thick, so it can manage the dangerously hot temperatures. It looks very small, and resembles a tan, house cat. It mostly eats small rodents, and lives in abandoned fox or porcupine burrows.
Now for our hometown hero, our very own bobcat! Weber State University’s mascot is based on the bobcat. This cat lives in North America, ranging from Canada to Mexico. This cat roams from forested mountains, to deserts, to urban jungles. The bobcat loves to eat. It will eat bugs, small rodents, and if it’s extra hungry, it will eat deer. The bobcat is a fighter and a survivor. It has been extensively hunted, but still thrives right here in the mountains of Ogden.
Hopefully you have enjoyed learning a little bit more about our wildcat heritage. These animals are fantastic, and we should proud to call them our Weber State mascot!