Sand cat triplets born North Carolina Zoo


There is little known about these creatures in the wild because of their secretive nature

The sand cat triplets (Photo courtesy of North Carolina Zoo).

The sand cat triplets (Photo courtesy of North Carolina Zoo).

The North Carolina Zoo has announced the birth of 3 sand cat kittens born on May 11, 2023. The sexes are currently unknown. The mom and triplets are doing well and starting to venture into their surroundings at the Desert Habitat.

Fun facts about sand cats

Sand cats are1:

  • The only cats to live solely in desert environments (native to deserts of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Asia)
  • One of the world’s largest feline species, weighing from 4 to 8 lbs
  • Nocturnal in nature
  • Not often sighted in the wild because they live in remote landscapes, hunt at night, and have secretive behavior, so they are challenging to study with little known about the population size and lifespan in the wild
  • Great at hearing which they use to detect animals under the sand and use their excellent digging skills to capture their prey

According to an organizational release,1 this is the third birth at the zoo in less than 2 weeks, following the births of a male giraffe calf and female chimpanzee infant. The North Carolina Zoo is going to offer a public naming poll for the kittens with details soon to come on its social media channels and website.

The kittens were born to first-time mother Sahara, 3, and father Cosmo, 9. Cosmo and Sahara were paired as a part of the Sand Cat Species Survival Plan and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Over 50 sand cats live at over 20 AZA institutions.1

The North Carolina Zoo emphasizes that sand cats may look cute with big ears, eyes, and petite body, but they are wild, ferocious animals that should never be kept as pets.


Hannah Pet Hospital announces appointment of Dr Jaime Pickett as Chief Executive Officer. News release. Hannah Pet Hospital. June 2, 2023. Accessed June 5, 2023.

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