Their diet consists of shrews, gerbils, hares, lizards and beetles. In one study, 57% of stomachs contained murid or mouse-like rodents, and 43% contained arachnids. Highly opportunistic, black-footed cats will take any prey they can overpower. One male was recorded as having ingested 450 grammes in one night, nearly one third of his bodyweight. Uneaten food is cached for later. They have been observed to scavenge springbok carcasses and take birds in the air. Black-footed cats are regularly reported to hang onto the throats of sheep until they pierce their jugular veins! While eating they empty the contents of their prey’s stomachs and intestines, pulling them through their teeth to squeeze the contents out.
They will drink if water is available but they usually get all the moisture they require from their prey. It has been reported that they will also eat a lot of grass.