Sand cats are a nearly threatened species and should not be kept as pets. They also have a high juvenile mortality rate when in captivity, which reflects their inability to adapt to a confined environment outside of their natural habitat.
The juvenile mortality rate for sand cats is 41 percent while in captivity. This cat species mainly populates the Sahara Desert, and smaller populations are believed to be located in Central Asia and parts of the Middle East. They are solitary animals that have been difficult to study. Sand cats have fur-coated paws that keep them from sinking into the sand when they walk, which eliminates their footprints and makes them difficult to track.