Wildcat Facts

Wildcat Facts
Wildcat is an ancestor of domestic cat. There are 22 subspecies of wildcats that can be found in Africa, Europe and Asia. Wildcats inhabit forests, wooded grasslands, semi-deserts, areas near the marshes, coasts, alpine meadows, savannas and steppes. Their number in the wild is rapidly declining due to interbreeding with domestic cats (created hybrids are not genetically pure wildcats), habitat loss and traffic accidents. Despite these factors, wildcats are still not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Wildcat Facts:
Wildcat can reach 29 to 46 inches in length and 7 to 18 pounds of weight.
Soft fur of wildcat can be grey-brown, yellowish-grey, dark grey, reddish or sandy colored and covered with various spots and stripes. Black-tipped tail is covered with dark rings.
Dark-colored wildcats with prominent spots and stripes often inhabit moist areas and forests. Wildcats from arid areas have pale-colored fur with less prominent markings.
Wildcat has broad head, flat face, robust body, short legs and long tail with blunt tip. Feet are equipped with sharp, retractable claws (they can be hidden inside the paws).
Wildcat is an agile climber, but it lives and hunts on the ground (terrestrial animal).
Wildcat is nocturnal creature (active during the night).
Wildcat has keen sense of hearing and eyesight which are used for detection of the prey during the night.
Wildcat is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on rodents, birds, reptiles, insects and spiders. It occasionally hunts large prey such as rabbits, small deer and antelopes. Wildcat eats entire prey, including the feathers, fur and bones.
Wildcat can reach the speed of 30 miles per hour.
Wildcat is territorial animal that lives solitary life. Males occupy larger territories than females. They use urine, feces and scent to mark their territory.
Mating season of wildcats takes place from December to February and from May to July.
Males become extremely aggressive during the mating season and they usually fight before they get opportunity to mate.
Pregnancy in females lasts 56 to 63 days and ends with 1 to 5 kittens (usually 3 to 4). Kittens are born among the rocks or inside abandoned burrow in the ground. They are blind and helpless at birth. After two to three weeks, kittens are able to see, run and play in front of a den.
Kittens learn basic hunting skills from their mother that brings live animals into a den. At the age of 12 weeks, young wildcats accompany their mother in the hunt. Even though they are ready for the independent life at the age of 5 months, wildcats do not reproduce until the age of 11 months or before they establish their own territory (males).
Wildcats can survive 6 to 8 years in the wild and up to 15 years in the captivity.

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