European wildcat

Facts about European wildcat

We found 16 facts about European wildcat

Felis silvestris

This wild cat is very similar to the European cat, which is the common shorthair cat. It is characterized by a slightly larger mass and size.

In the wild, it is difficult to tell whether the animal is a purebred wild cat or a hybrid with the European cat, as these species often interbreed.

There are two species of wildcat: the European wildcat (Felis silvestris) and the African wildcat (Felis lybica), which are very similar, but the European species (which is the subject of this article) has longer fur, more vivid coloration, and is slightly larger.

Despite its friendly appearance, the European wildcat is almost impossible to keep as a pet.

European wildcat
It is a carnivorous mammal of the cat family.
There are more than 20 subspecies of the European wildcat.
The European wildcat is found in Europe, the Caucasus and Asia Minor.
It is found in Scotland (where it has not been extirpated like the Welsh and English populations), Iberian Peninsula, France, Italy in Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania, Balkan Peninsula and northern and western Turkey.
Wildcat inhabits mainly deciduous and mixed forests.
It stays away from agricultural areas and human settlements.
It resembles the European shorthair cat but is more massive.
It has brindle, long fur with a dark stripe running across its back.
Females are smaller than males.
The average adult male weighs 5 to 8 kg, while the female weighs about 3.5 kg. Weight can vary depending on the season. Body length ranges from 45 to 90 cm and the tail averages 35 cm.
Feeds mainly on rodents, although it sometimes hunts larger prey.
Its diet includes rats, moles, hamsters, voles, forest mice, but also martens, polecats, weasels and young deer, roe deer, chamois and ground-dwelling birds.
Usually hunts on the ground but is also a good climber.
It can watch its prey from an elevated position and will pounce as soon as it is sure the attack will be successful.
It leads a solitary life and is territorial.
To date, researchers have not been able to gather much information about the social life of these animals. What is known for sure is that they are able to maintain residual scent and vocal contact with their nearest neighbors.
Males tend to venture into agricultural areas in search of food, which is usually abundant there.
Females are more conservative and rarely leave forested areas. This probably has to do with the protection of offspring provided by the forest vegetation.
The mating season begins in January and lasts until March.
Heat lasts from 1 to 6 days and gestation from 64 to 71 days (average 68).
Young are usually born in April or May.
A litter may consist of one to eight young. For the first month they are fed exclusively on the mother's milk, after which solid food is gradually introduced into their diet. The mother stops feeding the cubs with milk about 4 months after birth, at the same time the young begin to learn the rudiments of hunting.
They are most active at night.
In wild areas, far from human settlements, they can also be found during the day. The peak of activity of these cats is at dusk and dawn.
Wildcats can live up to 10 years in the wild.
In captivity, they live between 12 and 16 years.
In Europe, the wildcat is protected under the Bern Convention.
They are being hunted if mistaken for domestic cats. They are also endangered by crossbreeding with them.
Despite the total extirpation of the wildcat in England, attempts are being made to reintroduce it.
Captive breeding of these animals began in 2019 with the intention of releasing them into the wild in 2022.
European wildcat populations declined sharply in the nineteenth century.
The species was completely eradicated in the Netherlands, Austria and Czech Republic.
Hungry for more facts?

Latest topics

42 facts about Kyshtym disaster
42 facts about Kyshtym disaster
The first nuclear accident in Earth's history
Before information about it saw the light of day, the Soviets hid it for over 30 years. The explosion at the Mayak combine was the first nuclear accid ...
37 facts about Saint Petersburg
37 facts about Saint Petersburg
A city of many names
It was a dream and a matter of prestige for the Romanov dynasty to gain access to the Baltic Sea and build a metropolis to testify to Russia's emergin ...
32 facts about Peter the Great
32 facts about Peter the Great
The first Emperor of all Russia
Peter the Great is considered one of Russia's greatest rulers. He was a great reformer, strategist, and builder who was the first of the tsars to trav ...
39 facts about Dyatlov Pass incident
39 facts about Dyatlov Pass incident
Mysterious tragedy in the Ural mountains
The case of a group of students at the Ural Polytechnical Institute in Sverdlovsk continues to arouse great interest and raise many questions. A group ...
11 facts about Brooklyn Bridge
11 facts about Brooklyn Bridge
The first steel suspension bridge in the world
It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world. It connects Brooklyn with Manhattan, runs over the East River, and was completed in 1883. ...
31 facts about Brazil
31 facts about Brazil
South America's largest country
Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America and one of the largest and most populous countries in the world. A former Portuguese ...
44 facts about Ghent
44 facts about Ghent
City of three towers
Ghent is one of Belgium's most visited cities by tourists. This beautiful old Flanders city combines dignity, beauty, culture, and creativity. It is a ...
31 facts about Thailand
31 facts about Thailand
A country on the Indochinese Peninsula
Thailand is an Asian country located in its south-eastern part, famous for its interesting culture and religious architecture. This exotic country, wh ...

Similar topics