Categories: Wildcat

What does the European wildcat eat?

There have been many reports that this small wild cat species is primarily a rodent catcher. They do also feed on larger animals such as young deer, rabbits and hares. To add some detail: in the Carpathian mountains wildcats mainly eat yellow-necked mice, red-backed voles and bank voles. In the Prut swap they mainly feed on water voles. The Prut swamp is in Eastern Europe. They also feed, in that area, on Norway rats, muskrats and birds such as warblers, white-eyed potchards and coots.

European wildcat. Photo: PoC.

The Scottish wildcat is also a European wildcat and in Scotland they prey on rabbits and to a lesser extent on shrews and birds. In 92% of 546 scat samples there were lagomorph remains (hares and rabbits). This cat species preys heavily on young rabbits when they are available in the summer and spring. In winter, the reports indicated that the rabbits were more vulnerable because of myxomatosis resulting in 22% of the remains in the scats indicating that the rabbits were suffering from myxomatosis. This, it is presumed, made them more vulnerable to predation by the European wildcat.

Scottish Wildcat – Photo by Peter G Trimming


European wildcat range


dicating some of the distribution of the European wildcat


Read more by clicking on the link below:


The European wildcat is adaptable and they eat a wide range of foods such as insects, frogs, fruit, grass, fish, martens, polecats, weasels, roe deer fawns and young chamois. When they live close to human settlements they can prey upon poultry.

If you would like full references upon which I relied for this article then please leave a comment and ask me. There are numerous and I don’t want to provide them unless they are essential for a reader. The umbrella reference is The Wild Cats Of The World by Mel and Fiona Sunquist.

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Recent Posts

Do cats pick up on negative energy?

The wider question is whether cats pick up on human emotions and body language. Cat…

6 hours ago

The beneficial role of companion animals during coronavirus lockdown

You would expect that the presence of companion animals in a household during the coronavirus…

7 hours ago

Picture of black Maine Coon on black background

Maybe the prettiest Maine Coon you’ll see How big are Maine Coons? This picture shows…

19 hours ago

What do Abyssinian cats look like?

The Abyssinian cat is an athletic looking companion animal. People who breed Abyssinian cats i.e.…

20 hours ago

University of Guelph’s one cat meal a day study ignores the size of the stomach

The domestic cat's stomach is too small for a big, one meal a day mild…

1 day ago

5 fruits that domestic cats shouldn’t eat

People ask whether our domestic cat companions can eat watermelon, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries,…

2 days ago