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House cats' wild cousin

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Author Topic: House cats' wild cousin  (Read 412 times)
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« on: March 11, 2008, 03:42:24 am »

Nope, I'm not talking about our regular domestic or farm cats gone stray, neither am I hinting on the big cats like tigers and lions.  The wild cat is something between those two, but much closer to our domestic house kitty.

Unfortunately, the wild cats are fast becoming an extinct species.  No one knows how many are left but probably between 400 to 2,000.  They are found across Scotland, France, Spain, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Africa & Asia .. but mostly in Scotland.  Thus, they are often known as the British Wild Cat.  There are three separate distinct lineages: Forest cats (in Europe, Caucasus and Asia Minor), Steppe cats (in South & Central Asia) and Tawney cats (in Africa & the Middle East). Their coloring is diverse.

Wild cat is of the same family as our modern domestic cat, but slightly larger in size and more robust.  They would resemble a very big sized domestic tomcat.  Wildcats are nocturnal predators stalking and hunting their prey in much the same manner as a regular domestic cat using the "stalk and pounce" method.  They usually prey on frogs, insects and small reptiles.  It is presumed that in the distant past, these animals had been preys of foxes and the big cats in various countries because of which their number is reduced to so little at present.  In Britain nowadays the wild cat is said to have no enemies except 'a farmer with a gun.'  Wild cats never attack humans. 
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