Man rescues Scottish wildcat kitten dying of hypothermia

Pete Macnab was out for a stroll with his 11-week-old son and a friend when they encountered what they believed to be a young, domestic tabby cat in Huntly’s Cave, north of Grantown in Moray, Scotland. The young cat was freezing and struggling in the snow. They used social media to try and reunite the cat with its owner believing, as mentioned, that this was a cute little, lost tabby kitten.

Man rescues Scottish wildcat kitten from death due to hypothermia
Man rescues Scottish wildcat kitten from death due to hypothermia. Photos: The Herald.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats


They took the cat to the nearest veterinary clinic. The vet said that the cat was at death’s door and suffering from hypothermia. There were told that there’d saved the cat’s life. They were also told that they had rescued a highly endangered species of wild cat, namely, the Scottish wildcat. They do, indeed, look like tabby cats but they are more robust looking with thicker and banded tails. And of course being a genuine wildcat they are unsocialised.

This lends me to doubt that they have indeed rescued a Scottish wildcat. The report does not say that the cat in any way struggled, or objected to being picked up and taken to a veterinary clinic. Of course, the cat was very ill which may have subdued it but despite that I would expect the cat to feel threatened and strongly object to being handled as it was. The Scottish wildcat is famous for its ferocity.

It is common knowledge that the Scottish wildcat is almost extinct or already extinct. It is also known that they have crossbred with stray and feral cats in Scotland. This means that they are hybrids and not purebred Scottish wildcats which makes it even more difficult to distinguish them from the genuine article. I wonder whether the veterinarian is correct in assessing this cat is an endangered species of wildcat?

That said, Macnab, 32, said to The Herald, “It was an amazing experience. My friend had hoped that if it was unclaimed, he would have had the cat returned, after a mild bonding session with the cat carrying it for such a length!”

They had planned to adopt it but as the cat has been assessed as being a wildcat it will have to be returned to the wild after a full rehabilitation and medical treatment. They called the female cat ‘Huntleigh’ after the place where she was rescued. If I am correct to return to cat to the wild will be a big mistake, quite obviously.

The cat was in desperate trouble because she had got wet through which combined with the freezing conditions causing hypothermia. You read about hypothermia by clicking here.

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