The African Golden Cat is a very solitary animal, and little is known about its behavior. It lives in the rainforests of central and western Africa, preferring dense forest with thick undergrowth where it can remain hidden. It also prefers to live near rivers. It is a small wild cat that is about twice the size of a domesticated cat and weighs an average of 28lbs. Although their wild lifespan is unknown, they can live in captivity for up to 12 years.
The African Golden Cat is a nocturnal animal that lives alone. They have been seen hunting during the day, depending on the availability of local prey. Despite their agility and ability to climb, they spend the majority of their time hunting on the ground. They primarily hunt and eat rodents, but they will also consume birds, bats, small monkeys, giant forest hogs, and small antelope. When wild game is scarce, they have been observed preying on domestic poultry and livestock.
Because they are so elusive, they have only been photographed in the past or when one was discovered dead. Their behavior has received little attention. Panthera recently set up a video camera and captured rare footage of the African Golden cat preening and hunting in Gabon’s rainforest. This is thought to be the first public videotape of the wild cat. Panthera hopes that because the African Golden Cat is on the verge of extinction, this will increase interest in studying this beautiful but elusive cat.