The small ones of these wonderful cats usually look much more adorable than the grown-up animals, and we’ve all been admiring with cute photos of kittens and puppies.
But have you ever seen caracal kittens? If you haven’t, then you will be surprised — these exotic cats are not your average sweet kitties, but they look stunning.
Caracal means ‘black ears’ in Turkish, and these wild cats are sometimes called ‘Desert lynx’, ‘Persian lynx’, or ‘African lynx’, with tufts of black hair and overall graceful beauty of a lynx.
However, despite this close resemblance, the caracal is not a lynx at all. It is a different species and actually has more in common with the puma and the African golden cat.
Caracals were considered sacred animals in ancient Egypt, and they were painted on the walls and sculpted to guard the tombs of pharaohs. The caracal is found in the savannas, tropical grasslands, and deserts of Africa and Southwest Asia.
The caracal is a medium-sized cat reaching 40–50 cm at the shoulder, weighing 8–18 kg, and having a head-and-body length of 78 cm typical for males and 73 cm for females.
Caracals are excellent acrobats and hunters. They are bred in captivity, so they don’t pose a threat to people, but such breeding is illegal in some countries. The behavior of exotic cats is different from the behavior of domesticated dogs and cats, but for the more adventurous pet owners, who are not restricted by a small living space and financial issues, they can make fun and rewarding pets.
However, the caracal is one of the most expensive breeds of cats, with the price of a kitten, depending on its ancestral line, starting at $11,000.
This is probably a questionable luxury, even for those with the right income, living conditions, and permits. A wild animal is seldom happy in captivity, so it is better for caracals and other small wild cat species to enjoy living in their natural habitat.
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