In we will discover the details about a race quite unknown and with which we must take certain precautions if we intend to adopt and include in our family one of these felines. Although there are those who have them as pets, these cats are wild and are cataloged as wild species in danger of extinction, so we must not neglect the relevant legal issues, in addition to the ethical and moral, which change depending on the area in which we live. Then, all the details about the wildcat, a surprising and exotic cat,
Origin of the wild cat
The wildcat is the predecessor of the domestic cats that currently share our homes with us. It is a wild feline, a feral carnivorous mammal that is dispersed by forests of Africa, America, Asia and Europe. In some places the destruction of their habitats and other factors have caused that species to be threatened, including in the list of species in danger of extinction.
Within the cat category we find Various species, which are scattered around the world, being Felis Silvestris or European wild cat the denomination for the species that we find in Eurasia. This wildcat is quite similar to a domestic cat, but of a larger size and looking like a lynx. The North American species is called Lynx rufus and we find it in the territory from southern Canada to southern Mexico. His South American relative is the Leopardus geoffroyi or geoffroy, also in South America we find the Leopardus colocolo or cat of the grasslands.
Now, focusing on the origin of the wildcat in general, we can say that his ancestor is the wildcat of Mastelli (Felis lunensis), which lived in Europe during the Pliocene, expanding first through the Middle East and then into Asia and Africa, giving rise to the steppe wildcat more than 10 000 years ago.
Physical characteristics of the wildcat
When talking about the characteristics of the wildcat, it should be noted that its appearance is practically same as the Iberian lynx, being usually impossible to distinguish them except for the smaller size of the wildcats. Even the existence of hybrids between these two species has been recorded.
So, the wildcat presents a fur between brown and gray, with pattern tabby or mottled. Said hair is thick, dense, medium length and satin appearance. Its tail is long with the round tip. And their characteristics ears are large and pointed, usually with a reddish background.
The body of the mountains is muscular and robust at the same time that stylized and flexible. Due to its large size, the wildcat is considered as a giant cat, weighing up to 8 kilograms and measuring from 5 up to 120 cm high. Their life expectancy is usually from 6 to 12 years, with specimens that have reached the 14 years.
Being a wild animal is a lonely and quiet feline but that it can be aggressive if its life is threatened or when it is hunting, since its sustenance is at stake. In addition, the wildcat is an animal territorial, who will not hesitate to defend their habitat, especially the males, who will also mark with scratches and urinate their territory, which they will only share with females and not with other males.
Except in the winter season, the wildcat is a nocturnal animal that hunts and is active during the hours after sunset. However, when it is the cold season it adapts to the hours of activity of its prey, returning for a few months a diurnal animal. This detail of his personality lets us see that he is an animal that easily adapts to new media and ways of life, that is why there are specimens that have become the pets of families from all over the world. Of course, remember that the character of the wildcat is not like that of a domestic cat, so your natural aggressive temperament can arise whenever you feel threatened.
Feeding and needs of the wildcat
In its natural habitat, conformed by forested areas relatively isolated from urban centers and human populations distributed throughout Europe, the wildcat adapts life in areas of thickets, deciduous forests and more leafy areas in the northern region of the continent. In Spain it is scattered throughout the peninsula and the Balearic Islands.
In the wild these animals feed on the prey that they hunt. Usually the wild cat feeding it is based on rabbits, hares and other rodents, although its prey is varied and even deer can be among them. If the food is scarce, wild cats can become scavengers, feeding on the remains of other animals. Remember that they are animals with a great capacity for adaptation.
El reproductive cycle of the wildcat It has several phases. The period of estrus usually covers from February to March, taking into account the pregnancy, which lasts between 60 and 70 days. In this way, the cats would give birth from April to May litters that are usually about three puppies on average. The females are responsible for the care of the offspring, which will take care of the offspring until approximately 9 months of age.
Since they are not domestic animals, to have a wildcat as a pet you must be up to date with the current legislature in our area. Also, normally in case of being able to have to be with the licenses and pertinent documentation in order, because in addition to being wild felines they are in danger of extinction, like other big cats, so his hunting is completely forbidden, they must respect their habitat and try to avoid ending their prey, which will be vital for their survival.
Formerly its main predators were animals such as the wolf and the puma, but to this day the greatest danger for the survival of the wildcat It’s the human, that with the destruction of its habitat and the hunting has caused that the populations of wildcat have been depleted considerably. For this reason, since humans are largely guilty, we have the responsibility to take action in this regard, so, in this article aimed at explaining “How to protect animals in danger of extinction?” We are provided with a series of actions that we can take or avoid, in case these actions could be harmful, to protect this and other threatened species.
Normally the wildcats they are very resistant animals, but as it can happen with domestic felines, they can be affected by feline coronavirus, parvovirus, feline leukemia, distemper and conditions caused by parasites, which are usually infected by the rodents they feed on, or from the environment in which they live. the one who live. Likewise, when dealing with a wild animal, we must not forget the deaths due to natural causes or fights between wild cats, which can cause infections and serious hemorrhages.
We take this opportunity to highlight the importance of going to professionals in case of find a wounded wildcat or sick In such cases, it is recommended call the authorities, contact with forest guards or go directly to wildlife recovery centers to notify the discovery and let them be the ones who take care of the animal’s health.