Does the wildest cat in the world still exist?

The wildcat is a small breed of cat native to Europe, Western Asia and Africa. It specializes in eating small mammals, birds, mammals equivalent or smaller. It is distributed in many different parts of the world, sometimes it is raised as domestic cats. It adapts to many habitats around the world, from the continent to the desert.

Its early habitats are forests, savannas and steppes.

A study by the National Cancer Institute shows that all domestic cats in the world today are descended from a group of domesticated jungle cats 10,000 years ago in the Near East. It is believed that this happened when the Agricultural Revolution brought seeds that would be stored in granaries, attracting rodents, thus attracting cats.

The closest relatives of the wildcat today are the Cats.

1. Shape

The wild cat has the same appearance and physical condition as a domesticated cat, but the fur of these wild cats is pale yellow, dark brown or spotted, and its lower part is gray. or sometimes pure black. According to scientists, it is the result of natural crossing with domestic cats.

Wild cats are about 45-80 cm (18-31 inches) long, and weigh from 3-6 kg (6.6-13 pounds). The shoulders are approximately 35 cm (14 inches) wide, and the tail length is 30 cm (12 inches). Species in Africa and Asia are small in Europe, with shorter fur and lighter brown.

Wild cats also have the same characteristics as domestic cats, such as: cuddling gestures, calls, how to give birth and raise babies. Except during mating season, it tends to prefer quietness, not wanting anyone to get close

2. Behavior

Wild cats are very cautious in interacting with humans and completely away from places where people live. It lives alone and holds a separate distance from other species, its territory about 1.5-12 km2 (0.58-4.6 square miles), depending on the locality.

Males tend to occupy more territories than females, where they usually have 3-6 females as neighbors. It marks its whereabouts by leaving the smell of urine on the ground, scratching the soil out or leaving the smells of fur on the tree.

3. Diet

Wild cats primarily eat meat, insects, and plants just a small part of their diet. Regardless of the subspecies, its prey includes: small mammals, rodents and rabbits, in addition to the Gray Lizard (in Portugal) and some birds. However, the scientists found that it also ate amphibians, fish, scorpions, deer and antelopes.

4.Life and reproduction

Wild cats usually give birth only 1 litter per year, but it may give birth to a second litter if the first litter dies prematurely. The European wildcat usually lays between February and March, while the South African wildcat lays during the rainy season – when food is at its highest. In contrast to South Africa, North African cats breed year-round, with no options like South African cats.

The cat’s menstrual cycle lasts from 2-8 days and 56-69 days pregnant (African cats are shorter than European cats).

Before the birth, the mother cat is usually prepared to nest in a cave or deep underground. In the wild, wild cats usually have 1-5 heads, of which 3-4 are the most common. At birth, the kitten weighs 75-150 grams (2.6-5.3 oz), it does not open its eyes and is very weak.

At birth, the stripe on the cat is quite faint, so it is difficult to detect. It begins to open eyes after 7-12 days, and can hunt when 10-12 weeks old. Kittens completely wean after 2 months and live independently after 3 months. A year later, it can establish its own territory, and can find a mate.

In captivity, the wildcat can live up to 16 years

5.Distribution

European wild cats are found throughout Europe, not counting Ireland, the Scandinavian peninsula and some small islands. Now, it is left only in a few small areas and scattered throughout Europe, from Portugal and northern Scotland to Turkey and the Carpathian mountains. Many populations still exist in Sicily and Sardinia.

The African cat is found throughout the continent, except for deserts and rainforests, and it is also distributed throughout the Middle East, especially in Iran. Asian cats are common in the East, from Pakistan to Northwest India and from Central Asia to Mongolia, and they can adapt to a variety of different habitats.

Wild cats require a high forest cover so they can easily ambush and hunt prey, including shrubs, rocky mountains or farmland. They are often found in deciduous rainforest, savannah and near swamps.

Wild cats often avoid areas with heavy, dry snow or lack of water.

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