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The smallest cat species in Arabia, the sand cat (Felis margarita) is well adapted to its arid desert habitat, obtaining all the water it needs from its food. Prey capture is facilitated by the sand cat’s highly sensitive ears, which are large and triangular, and capable of detecting noises from animals both above and below the surface of the sand. Its foot pads are covered with thick hair, enabling it to move easily over quickly moving sands in its desert environment, and insulates them from the surface heat. The fur of the sand cat ranges from yellowish-brown to dull grey, with vague lines on its limbs and several black rings near the black tip of its tail. A dark, reddish streak runs from the corner of the eye down the cheek. The patterns on the sand cat’s fur vary between the six subspecies.

See Also