African wildcats hunt by themselves, though pairs or family groups sometimes hunt together. Males only join females that are in estrous; females remain solitary the rest of the time. Marked territories provide structure to the social system. Female ranges do not overlap, but a resident male’s territory may overlap with several female ranges in order to insure reproduction.
Few communication methods have been recorded for the African wildcat. Females produce short “want” calls when they are ready to reproduce. To communicate with neighbors and with members of the opposite sex, the African wildcat marks with urine, droppings, and tree scratching. For females, urine spray patterns advertise their reproductive status. Females may spray up to 50 times per night, while the spray count of males is approximately 183 a night.
African wildcats stalk, crouch, rush, and then pounce on their prey. They favor nighttime for hunting, but will extend their hunting hours into daylight depending on season and food availability.
The typical conservation issues, such as land degradation, human encroachment, and declining prey levels, do not threaten the African wildcat population. They are, however, at risk from high rates of hybridization with domestic and feral cats.