Golden cat is the most wildlife one of the exciting thing one can encounter while on a safari in Uganda .one can have the most exciting and endless list of various species of wild animals both nocturnal and crepuscular and these include the African Golden cat.
The African golden cat is a very unique African cat is a very unique African cat in African Rain forest.
The cats are medium size wild with different fur colors that range from reddish brown to grey and their skin is regularly spotted. The spotted hyenas range from faded fan to heavy black colors.
These cats are two times the size of domesticated cats such as small rounded head, long legs, big paws ,short tails They live a life of loneliness they are common nocturnal their sometimes seen during the day.
The cats feed on giant forest hogs, birds, antelopes and duiker .the Golden cat is occasionally seen in Kibale National park.
The African golden cat is closely related to caracal. These two species form one of the eight lineages. The African golden cat is considered to resemble the Asian Golden cat which is not closely related.
The African golden cat male weighs more than the female. The African cat has spotted patterns limiting to the belly and inner legs. It undersides areas around the eyes, chin, cheeks and throat are lighter in color. The tail is darker on the top, light banded, plain, heavily banded an ending in a black tip.
Cats in the western parts have heavier spotting than those of the eastern areas. Two color morphs, these help to indicate separate species. Despite the wide variation in coat color, pelts of African Golden cats can be seen by the presence of whorled ridge of furring front of shoulders where the hairs change in different directions.
Although the African cat resembles the caracal, the caracal has shorter untufted ears, shorter rounded face longer tail, and a shorter rounded face; the caracal has small, eyen colors that range from pale blue to brown color.
DISTRINUTION AND HABITAT
Golden cat prefers dense moist forest with heavy undergrowth found close to rivers. The cats are found in Uganda, Kenya of East Africa, Senegal in the west, ranges as far as north central African Republican far as south northern Angola.
Ecology and behavior
The habit behaviors of the Golden cat, they hunt during the day depending on the availability of local prey. Golden cats climb trees to hunt for birds, small monkeys, duikers, small antelopes, forest hog and many more.
The female golden cat gives birth one to two kittens after gestation period of around 75days.Their eyes open within a week of birth they are weaned for 6-8weeks.they grow and develop rapidly with other small cat species.
Golden cats are born blind they open their eyes after birth, the offspring is weaned at 6-8weeks . they will grow and develop rapidly with other small cat species. Females reach sexual maturity at 11 months of age, and males at around 18month’s ,they live up to 12years their lifespan in the wild is unknown.
The African golden cat is threatened by deforestation of tropical rainforests, oil palm plantations, and couple with mining activities, road constructions, and destruction of habitats. Threatened by Bushmen hunting in Congo Basin.
The golden cats are prohibited in Benin, Congo, Kenya, Ghana, Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, Gabon, Togo, Liberia, Nigeria, Angola, Ghana, Kenya ,sierra Leone ,Cote d’Ivoire, the hunting are in high regulations.