News roundup on the rewilding in the UK of wildcats

Scottish wildcat in the highlands of Scotland

There appears to be a concerted effort to rewild the UK with the wildcat which is probably extinct throughout the UK although some think that the wildcat is still present in very small numbers (400?) but others think those cats are wildcat x domestic/feral cat hybrids and the wildcat is extinct in the UK. …

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History of the domestic cat living side by side with the wildcat in Britain (and Northern Europe)

Wildcats introduced into the Cairngorms region of Scotland

Domestic cats have been in Britain for around at least 2,000 years and based on genetic analysis their ancestors were the Near Eastern wildcat (North African wildcat) which is now regarded as common knowledge. I had thought that the Romans brought domestic cats to Britain in around 200 AD but it appears to be …

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What is the difference between a pet cat and a wild cat?

African wildcat versus tabby domestic cat

The question seems innocuous and the answer obvious but the explanation is not quite as simple as people might expect. The comparison will be to the pet cat’s wild cat ancestor. Here is my answer for what it is worth. Please add yours in a comment. The difference between a pet cat and a …

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All of today’s 600 million domestic cats descend from at least 5 female wildcats

African wildcat compared with domestic cat

It is an astonishing thought. About ten thousand years ago at least five different individual female cats of the Near Eastern wildcat (aka North African wildcat) population living in the savannah had the courage to overcome their fear of humans to live in an agricultural settlement in the river-rich lands that form an arc …

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Chinese Mountain cat aka desert cat (2023)

Chinese mountain or desert cat

The article is over several pages with links at the base of each page to the next. This is for technical reasons. Overview The Chinese Mountain cat is more commonly named the Chinese desert cat or ‘desert cat’, although it is a little misleading as their habitat is mountainous terrain. However, little is known …

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First pet cats were tamed wildcats not true domestic cats

Ancient tabby cat

It’s a point worth making. You hear a lot about the first domestic cats coming into being about 10,000 years ago. These are the first N. African wildcats who befriended humans and vice versa; both benefiting in an act of ‘commensalism’ as it is called. These early pet cats were tamed wildcats. Their behaviour …

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Sumatran tiger 2022 – critically endangered

Sumatran tiger

The story of the Sumatran tiger is a very sad one. It is the beginning of the end of the road for this cat’s presence in the wild. The disappointing truth is that the experts don’t even know, through ineffectual estimates, the number of adult Sumatran tigers that are left on the planet. I …

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European wildcat description – a wild-looking tabby cat

European wildcat meows

Take a domestic tabby cat, make them a little larger, make them more substantial with a thick and slightly longer and denser coat, make the tabby markings a little less pronounced and give the cat that classic, unneutered jowly appearance and you’ve got yourself a European wildcat. The same kind of description applies to …

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