Big Cats in the UK

Big Cats in the UK

by Michael

There is always the occasional big cat sighting in the UK. A recent story concerns the killing of a young deer. It was killed by a large animal is seems and eaten. It happened in Wiltshire, England. The predator has been called the beast of Woodchester!

A person took a photo of a cat in a field and a newspaper has published it and asked if this is the beast.

I have taken the liberty of publishing the picture here for educational purposes!

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I have marked up the picture with my thoughts. I think we have to try and scale things. It is so easy to get the size of animals wrong at a distance.

Anything we can use that helps to provide a scale puts a bit of accuracy into the process of deciding if the cat is a domestic cat or a wildcat. I am not saying that my scaling is necessarily accurate but it should be near the mark, I feel.

Many wildcats are a similar size to the domestic cat but it would have to be at least a medium sized wild cat at least to want to kill a deer and succeed. Small wildcat eat rodents etc.

Incidentally, newspaper journalists always refer to “big cats” in England. A big cat would have to be one of a lion, tiger, jaguar or leopard or perhaps a puma. These are obviously much larger than the cat in the picture above.

A large domestic cat would be about 12″ plus to the shoulder on my guess. The world’s largest is 17″ to the shoulder.

The cat in the picture is likely to be a large black domestic cat. The tail looks like a domestic cat tail and so does the general conformation of the body etc.

What do you think?


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Big Cats in the UK

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Feb 03, 2012
DNA testing NEW
by: Michael

Update: regarding the deer that was attacked and eaten by what was thought to have been a big cat, the only DNA that they could find on the carcass was that of foxes.

It would seem that the deer may have died and the foxes ate it.

Once again we do not have any substantive proof of the existence of big cats in the UK.

Sightings of big cats is similar to sightings of UFOs it seems. We like to think they are out there but can’t prove it.

I think Rudolph makes a good point though as there were pet big cats at one time in the UK. Some could escape. The law was tightened up years ago.

Jan 23, 2012
Big cats in U.K
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Manny big cats were sold as pets in “Harrods” in London as late as the 1970’s and hence i won’t be surprised if the black cat-like animal in the photograph is actually a black Indian panther.According to me i presume a wealthy person must have purchased a panther cub and later abandoned it in the English forests realizing that owning a small pet cat and a exotic big cat are two very different sides of a coin.To me it definitely resembles a panther.

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