Scottish Wildcat

Latin Name Felis silvestris grampia
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Felidae
IUCN status Endangered in Scotland
Habitat Forests, meadows, heath moors, highlands.
Distribution Scottish Highlands

General Information

The Scottish Wildcat is a sub-species of the Wildcat found throughout Europe.

Although the Wildcat, in general, is not threatened the Scottish Wildcat is in danger of extinction and maybe down to the last 40 individuals.

It is protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

For its weight and size this cat is one of the world’s most efficient predators.

Fearless, brave, intelligent, resourceful and patient make a remarkable animal who has survived human persecution for 500 years.

Solitary, nocturnal and most active at dawn and dusk hunting for small to medium size mammals.

Fun Fact

No-one has ever been able to tame a Scottish Wildcat not even when handreared from a kitten. They are a truly WILD cat.

This species is nicknamed “The British Tiger” and has a distinctive method of eating rabbit by turning the skin inside out as they eat the meat, leaving the skin still attached to the leg bones and feet.

Keeper Notes

Our 2 female cats are in classed as “non-breeding” at present but more DNA work is being done to establish the authenticity of all captive SWC’s to enable future breeding of this stunning cat.

At present it is thought that there maybe fewer that 40 pure Scottish Wildcats in the wild!

Both the Chestnut Centre and The New Forest Wildlife Park are working to preserve this species.