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?

Similar topics

22 facts about Amur leopard
22 facts about Amur leopard
Panthera pardus orientalis
Amur leopards are the world’s rarest wild cats. One of eight leopard subspecies, the Amur leopard is easily distinguished from its cousins. Despite be ...
23 facts about Maine coon
23 facts about Maine coon
Gentle giants
Maine coons are one of the most popular domestic cat breeds in the world. They have a lovely temperament and enjoy playing and interacting with humans ...
15 facts about Javan leopard
15 facts about Javan leopard
Panthera pardus melas
The Javan leopard is one of the endemic animals of the island of Java in Indonesia. Due to habitat fragmentation, leopards are forced to breed within ...
19 facts about European pine marten
19 facts about European pine marten
Martes martes
This small, predatory mammal is closely associated with the forest environment. It tries to avoid contact with humans and always be near some shelter. ...
21 facts about Asian elephant
21 facts about Asian elephant
Elephas maximus
Asian elephants are one of the most endangered terrestrial mammals. Previously so widespread they reached the basin of the Yangtze River, nowadays the ...
18 facts about Alpaca
18 facts about Alpaca
Highly intelligent, swift learning and gentle animals
Most of the world's alpaca population is found in South America, in the Altiplano region of Peru-Chile-Bolivia, where they are currently found only on ...
15 facts about vaquita
15 facts about vaquita
Phocoena sinus
Vaquitas are the smallest of all known cetaceans. They are very timid, and thus spotting one is extremely rare. Native to the Gulf of California in Me ...
18 facts about True seals
18 facts about True seals
Earless pinnipeds
Along with earwigs and walruses, seals are classified as pinnipeds - marine mammals that appeared on Earth about 24 million years ago. They share many ...

Latest topics

20 facts about beer
20 facts about beer
World’s third most popular beverage
It is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages produced. The first archaeological evidence of brewing dates back 13,000 years ago from the territory of I ...
15 facts about StarCraft
15 facts about StarCraft
The computer game classic of the 1990s
For gamers whose childhood and early youth were in the 1990s, StarCraft can evoke nostalgia. This already classic title lived to see a sequel in 2010, ...
12 facts about capybaras
12 facts about capybaras
The world’s largest rodent and social media star
The capybara, the largest rodent known to us today, is an animal with a very pleasant disposition and appearance, living both an aquatic and terrestri ...
20 facts about Amazon River
20 facts about Amazon River
Its basin covers nearly half of South America
In the year 1500, European explorers stumbled upon one of the most remarkable wonders on the planet: the amazing Amazon River. This majestic waterway ...
13 facts about churro
13 facts about churro
A dessert worth the sin
Churros are known to all lovers of Spanish and Latin American cuisine, but few may realize that their genesis, in all likelihood, took place in the Fa ...
29 facts about Colorado
29 facts about Colorado
Centennial State
Colorado is one of the larger American states, bordered by longitude and latitude. The state is famous for its varied landscape of mountains, forests, ...
18 facts about Roland Garros
18 facts about Roland Garros
French pioneer of aviation who played tennis only a few times in his life
Roland Garros was a French aviator who played an important role in the history of aviation. He began his aviation career in 1909 and achieved many aer ...
24 facts about Sri Lanka
24 facts about Sri Lanka
The “Land of Smiles”
Sri Lanka is an island country in the Indian Ocean. Previously, until 1972, both the country and the island on which it lies were known to the world a ...

Similar topics