Indian Tiger » Wild Cats

Tiger, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Wild Cats

Wild Cats, India
When we look at the domestic cat today we can still see many of the features of their wild ancestry. Indeed, cats today, from the domestic cat to the big cats, are descendants of the Carnivorous known as the Miacids. (Some of the Miacids became cheetahs, lions and tigers.)

The Martelli's wild cat is believed to be the ancestor of the modern small cat, which resulted in the modern wild cat. The wild cat can be categorized into sub sections; the European Wild Cat, the Asiatic desert Cat and the African Wild Cat. Our much loved domestic cat is thought to be a descendant of the African Wild Cat.

There are many different species of wild cat, from the tiny black-footed cat of Southern Africa to the majestic cat of Africa. 'Cats in the Wild' Section will have a weekly feature on one of these magnificent creatures. As a cat lover you can nominate a particular species of wild cat that interests you. I hope this section brings a bit of wilderness into your home!

Wild Cat - Fast facts!

Wild cat: Felis sylvestris
Presence on the planet: Highlands of Scotland; possibly a few in the Scottish borders and Northumberland. Also Spain, Germany, Poland, Asia, Africa and parts of southern Europe.

Habitat: Wild cats inhabit remote forests, hill areas and grouse moors.

Cheetah, The Wild Cat Family Description: These resemble a domestic tabby but is slightly larger with longer, softer fur and broader head. Black or grey body stripes (a tabby is blotched). Bushy tail with a blunt, black, rounded tip (domestic cats' tails are longer and pointed).

Size: Male measures about 90cm from nose to tail-tip; female slightly smaller.

About 12 years.

Food: Rabbits, hares, small rodents, birds and insects form the main diet; sometimes squirrels and deer fawns are taken.

The wild cat was once common over most of the British Isles, but it is now mainly found in Scotland. Although it looks very much like a domestic tabby cat, it is very fierce and almost impossible to tame, even if brought up from a tiny kitten.

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