Chris Usher, a hillwalker with a decent camera and good technique, spotted three wild cat kittens in the Cairngorms, Scotland. They definitely look like Scottish wildcats. They are quite stocky with thick tails and of the classic tabby coat.
I have read various estimates of the number of Scottish wildcats left in the wild on the planet. The genuine, purebred wild cat is exceedingly rare. There may be 35-300 left.
The biggest problem is crossbreeding with feral and domestic cats. This results in a hybrid, not a true wildcat. This is a classic example of how humans can get conservation wrong. It happens all the time in various ways. All the Scottish wildcats are in Scotland and the government could have done more to minimise the number of feral cats in the country.
Roo Campbell, a project manager with Scottish Wildcat Action, said that one of the three kittens looks like a hybrid while the other two may be purebred.
He said that if the cat has ‘more blotchy tabby markings’ it is sign that the cat is not a genuine Scottish wildcat. As cats can have multiple fathers, one of the kittens being a hybrid does not preclude the other two being purebred. They could have two different fathers: one a domestic cat and the other a wildcat.
It is very rare to have video footage of this elusive and almost extinct small wild cat species which looks like a strong, stocky tabby cat.
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