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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 11:40 EDT

Wild cat

The wild cat (Felis silvestris), sometimes “wildcat” or “wild-cat”, is a small predator native to Europe. It is also found in the western part of Asia, and Africa. It is a hunter of small mammals, birds, and other creatures of a similar size. There are several subspecies that occur in different world regions. This includes the ubiquitous domestic cat, which has been introduced to every habitable continent and most of the world’s larger islands. It has become feral in many of those environments.

In its native environment, the wild cat is adaptable to a variety of habitat types. These habitats are land, open forest, and steppe. Although a domesticated breed shows a great variety of shapes and colors, wild individuals are medium-brown with black stripes. They are between 20 to 32 inches (50 and 80 cm) long and weigh between 6 to 13 pounds (3 and 6 kg). The African subspecies tends to be a little smaller and a lighter brown in color.

Wild cats are extremely timid. They avoid coming too close to human settlements.

Wild cat