Fast Facts About Caracal
Caracal caracal

©Karl Svendsen
+/-0.45 m shoulder height

8 - 13 kg (F); 12 - 19 kg (M)

Approximately 10 years

Open areas including plains, vleis, rocky areas, mountains and mixed woodland. Must have woody cover for hunting or danger evasion.

78 days

Number of young
2 or 3 altricial young (up to 4)

Dassies (53%), antelope like grey rhebok (up to 2x its weight), hares, rabbits, rodents, birds especially sandgrouse, monkeys, reptiles (1%) and small carnivores.

Larger carnivores, pythons, birds of prey (take young)

Two for One

©Roger de la Harpe
Caracals have a reputation worldwide for their speed and agility in executing aerial bird kills. They have a propensity for ambushing sand grouse and doves at waterholes and will often secure two birds from a 2-pawed swat in just one leap. An ancient Middle Eastern sport even used tamed caracals to this end and hence originated the expression ‘to put a cat among the pigeons’.

By Megan Emmett