The Caracal

Scientific Name: Caracal caracal
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Weight: 26-42 pounds



The caracal is a medium sized built cat with a relatively short tail that reaches its hind heels. Muscular and slightly elongated hind legs give the hindquarters an elevated appearance. The forepaws are large with well-developed claws. The head is heavily built with large, distinctive ears, which are black with long tufts.


The caracal has the ability to take down prey up to 4 times its own weight. A variety of mammals comprise 70% of the caracal diet. After mammals, the most important prey category is made up of a wide array of birds followed by reptiles and amphibians.


Caracals reproduce year round, however peak months are from October through February, or November through May, depending on the cat’s home range. Gestation is 68-81 days. Litter sizes average 2-3 kittens, exceptionally reaching as many as 6.