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montage of foxes, a thistle and a kestrel
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Scottish Wildcat

Once common throughout the British Isles, the wildcat is now confined to the highlands of Scotland. The wildcat is easily confused with 'feral' cats, which are domestic cats living wild, of which there are about 900,000 in Britain today. Unfortunately the two species also interbreed to give hybrids, which makes it extremely difficult to define the genetic purity of a wildcat.

The true wildcat has an average body length of about 56cm (22in) and a tail about 29cm (12in), making it slightly larger than the domestic variety. Its fur is grey/ brown in colour with dark stripes and the tail is thick and bushy with black rings and a blunt tip. Wildcats’ diet consists of rabbits, hares, small mammals and game birds
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Wildcats have a litter of 3 - 4 kittens in May. They are born with hair but are blind and deaf. Eyes open after 9 days and they emerge from the den at 4 - 5 weeks old. They accompany their mother on hunting trips after 10 - 12 weeks. Second litters occasionally occur in August.


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