Surname: Wild cat
Latin name: Felis silvestris
size: 70 - 90cm
mass: 4 - 5kg
Older: 6 - 10 years
Appearance: Coat color depends on the respective subspecies
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Carnivore
food: Mouse, brown rat, small amphibians
distribution: Europe, Asia, Africa
original origin: Africa (Falzkatze)
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: natural forests
natural enemies: Hawk, golden eagle, lynx, wolf
sexual maturity: towards the end of the first year of life
mating season: January - March
gestation: 60 - 70 days
litter size: 2 - 5 cubs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the wildcat
- The wild cat or Felis silvestris describes a predator species that belongs to the small cats, which looks very similar to the domestic cat, but is only distantly related to it.
- Within the wild cats a distinction is made between several subspecies.
- The wildcat is native to Europe as well as to much of Asia, Africa and India.
- The European wildcat was originally native to all European countries, but stocks have declined sharply due to intense hunting and the destruction of their habitats. Today, wildcats are found again in Scotland, the Balkans, Italy, France, Belgium, the Iberian Peninsula and even Germany.
- The wildcat populates primarily dense and well-structured, natural and quiet forests with a high stock of old trees.
- Since wild cats are very shy animals, they can rarely be observed.
- If they are not hunting, they retreat to their hiding places, which they find in abandoned fox and roof structures and tree hollows.
- The wild cat looks very similar to the gray-brown-patterned domestic cat, but its coat does not appear so rich in contrast, but rather indistinct to washed out.
- In contrast to the domestic cat, the wild cat has a much bushier and shorter tail, the dark-striped and appears dulled at the end. The tail tip is always dark colored.
- The wild cat also differs from the domesticated species in its physique, because it is of a rather squat and strong stature.
- The cats bring a weight of up to five kilograms on the scales, the cats are slightly lighter.
- In Central Europe, the wild cat feeds mainly on mice. Depending on the subspecies and habitat, even small birds, rabbits, amphibians, insects and lizards are important food sources. Only in times of need does the wildcat eat carrion as well.
- As a loner she roams a territory that can cover an area of up to ten square kilometers.
- After mating, which takes place in March at the latest, and a gestation period of up to seventy days, the female gives birth to three or four, rarely even six, kittens. They leave the care of their mother at the age of half a year.
- The life expectancy of the wild cat is a maximum of ten years. Animals that live in human care can become like fifteen-year-old domestic cats. However, this is extremely rare, because the wild cat avoids humans and is considered very difficult to tame.