This is supposed to be a Halloween story.
We adopted a tabby kitten… and it looks just like the most lethal feline in the world — black-footed cat.
Meet the black-footed cat. Native to the extremely dry conditions of southwestern South Africa, it stands among some of the vicious predators on the planet.
Africa’s smallest feline has a 60 percent success rate in killing small rodents, reptiles, mammals, and birds.
Even though black-footed cats measure around 40 cm and weigh only 1-3 kilos (approximately the size of a lion’s paw ☝🏼), they can feed up to a fifth of their weight in one hunt.
Despite its small size, the black-footed cat hunts and brings down more prey in a single night than a leopard does in six months, according to PBS Nature‘s Super Cats.
In one night, a black-footed cat kills between 10 and 14 rodents or small birds, averaging a kill about every 50 minutes.
Being the tiny killing machine they are, black-footed cats are about three times as successful as lions, which average a successful kill about 20 to 25 percent of the time.
Among the estimates of the number of prey of the most lethal cat on Earth, researchers counted around 3,000 mice (and even cape hares which are their size) throughout the year.
Black-footed cats are often referred to as vampire cats due to their ability to live for a long period without consuming any water. The bodily fluids of their prey are mostly all they need regarding liquid.
Despite their lethality and survival capacity, black-footed cats are declared in danger of extinction.
Due to chromosomal differences, the black-footed cat cannot interbreed with other felines.
They don’t have many natural predators but are threatened by poison and traps set by farmers for other predators.
Their characteristic black and hairy soles and feet help them walk on deserts of scorching hot African sand.