The world’s deadliest cat is ready for a cuddle

You'd never know by looking at one, but the black-footed cat of Africa is the most successful hunter of all felines
deadliest cat Adorable? Not if you're a wild rodent... (Claire Fulton |

Wild cats are some of the world's most fearsome predators. Debates often rage over which is the deadliest cat of them all. Is it the majestic lion? Or perhaps the mystical tiger? We're sure that the clever leopard, sneaky jaguar, and speedy cheetah would all get some votes, too.

But people would all be wrong. According to a new documentary from BBC One (as well as all of the facts), the deadliest cat in the world is Africa's black-footed cat.

That's this fella.

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Eek! Adorbs!

Stop saying I'm cute!

Okay, we know it may not be fair to say, but the black-footed cat is just not terribly scary. Did you know that it is also known as the small-spotted cat or the anthill tiger? Those are some cute names for one cute cat. Just look at it again!

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Gah! How could anyone or anything be afraid of something so obviously...

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Oh, wait. Right. That.

I warned you...

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"Told you I was deadly." (Getty Embed)

It's true that the black-footed cat isn't about to take down a wildebeest or elephant calf. But when the hunt is on, it does not mess around. Rodents, rabbits, small birds... when the black-footed cat sets its sights on prey, it makes the kill 60 percent of the time. Think about that for a second. 6 out of every 10 animals it attempts to catch is eaten. That is a remarkable statistic.

How does it compare to other predators? Hunters such as lions, tigers, polar bears, and wolves hover somewhere between 10 to 20 percent. Leopards are a bit higher. Cheetahs are actually not far off the black-footed cat, getting over 50 percent. But aside from a group of wild African dogs, few animals of any kind can out hunt the world's cutest, ahem, sorry... deadliest cat.

Watch this mewing menace in action for yourself below, courtesy of BBC One's Big Cats documentary.

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