Sand Cat in Africa Arabia Iran Uzbekistan

The Sand Cat is the only cat living primarily in sandy deserts, ranging from the Kyzylkum and Karakum deserts in Central Asia westwards to the Caspian Sea (Geptner and Sludskii 1972) and southwards to Iran and Baluchistan (Firouz 2005, Roberts 1977). Farther west, its range extends across the Arabian Peninsula to northern Africa (Schauenberg 1974).


In the following map, the markers point to locations where Sand Cats were recorded after 2000. The markers indicate areas where Sand Cats were captured or sighted between 1858 and the mid 1980s. For further information about individual locations : click on the marker to zoom in.


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  3. Bunaian, F., S. Mashaqbeh, M. Yousef, A. Buduri & Z. Amr (1998). A new record of the Sand Cat, Felis margarita, from Jordan. Zoology in the Middle East 16(1): 5–7.
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  9. Goodman, S. M. & I. Helmy (1986). The Sand Cat Felis margarita Loche, 1858 in Egypt. Mammalia 50: 120–123.
  10. Mohammad, K. M., S. R. Lahony & H. M. Al-Rammahi (2013). First record of the Sand Cat, Felis margarita Loche, 1858 (Mammalia: Carnivora, Felidae), from Iraq. Zoology in the Middle East 59(4): 358–359.
  11. Ognev, S. I. (1926). [A new genus and species of cat from the Transcaspian region.] [Annals of the Museum of Zoology, Academy of Science, USSR] 27: 356–362.
  12. Pocock, R. I. (1938 a). The Algerian Sand Cat (Felis margarita Loche). Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, B108: 41–46.
  13. Pocock, R. I. (1938 b). A new race of the Sand Cat (Felis margarita). Annals and Magazine of Natural History Series 11 1(4): 472–476.
  14. Roberts, T. J. (1977). Felis margarita. In: Mammals of Pakistan. Ernest Benn Ltd., London. Pp. 142–143.
  15. Schauenberg, P. (1974). Données nouvelles sur le Chat des sables Felis margarita Loche, 1858. Revue Suisse De Zoologie 81(4): 949–969.
  16. Serra, G., M. S. Abdallah & G. A. Qaim (2007). Occurrence of Rüppell's Fox, Vulpes rueppelli, and Sand Cat, Felis margarita, in Syria. Zoology in the Middle East 42(1): 99–102.
  17. Sher Shah, M. & P. Cunningham (2008). Fences as a threat to Sand Cats, Felis margarita Loche 1858, in Saudi Arabia. Zoology in the Middle East 44(1): 104–106.
  18. Sliwa A., G. Breton & F. Chevalier (2013). Sand Cat sightings in the Moroccan Sahara. Cat News 59: 28–30.


Text and map compiled by Angie Appel

Suggested citation:

Appel, A. 2020. Sand Cat: Distribution. Sand Cat Working Group.