Table of Content
List of Cats In The Wild
The discretion of this beautiful nocturnal feline is perhaps one of the reasons which made it difficult to observe its evolution. A host of forests and their edges, it lives in Europe, Asia and Africa, before we see the List of Cats In The Wild let’s know little about the wild cats.
|Last name(genus, species) :||Felis silvestris|
|Identification :||Slightly larger than the domestic cat, pale yellow to dark gray coat, ringed tail terminated in a black sleeve, stripes generally inconspicuous|
|Cut :||From 45 to 70 cm (head and body); tail 26 to 32 cm; 25 to 35 cm high at the withers|
|Weight:||5 kg on average (males); 3.5 kg on average (females)|
|Division :||Eurasia, Africa and Southwest Asia|
|Habitat:||Deciduous forests, steppes and savannas; absent from deserts and the tropics|
|Social structure:||Solitary and territorial|
|Sexual maturity:||At the age of 10 months|
|Breeding season:||Especially the beginning of spring|
|Duration of gestation:||63 to 69 days|
|Number of young per litter:||From 1 to 7|
|Birth weight:||100 g|
|Longevity:||Between 12 and 18 years in captivity, unknown in the wild|
|Workforce, trend:||Several tens of thousands of animals; globally stable but declining or threatened locally|
|Status, protection:||Appendix II of Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). Species protected in Europe and Central Asia, but only in some African countries|
|Note :||Significant risk of hybridization with the stray domestic cat|
The retina, rich in rods, ensures acuity of night vision. The pupil changes considerably in size depending on whether the animal is in bright light or in semi-darkness. The vertical crossing of the muscle fibers on either side of the pupil, typical of the genus Felis, allows an almost perfect closure under strong light.
The front legs have 5 fingers, the first finger, placed very high, leaving no imprint on the ground; the rear legs have 4 fingers.
Very rounded, the skull is much wider than it is long. In the wild cat, the sagittal crest is not marked as in the big cats, it is the surface of the skull which alone allows the attachment of the powerful muscles of the jaws. There is no depression at the junction of the nasal and frontal bones.
Felines have short intestines, due to their carnivorous diet. The intestine of the European wild cat is much shorter than that of the domestic cat.
The development of muscles gives great strength to the jaws.
These are fitted with 30 teeth. The dental formula per half jaw is: I3 / 3; C1 / 1; PM3 / 2; M1 / 1. Carnivorous (4 e upper premolar and 1 st lower molar), in particular, are extremely sharp. They cut food, which is swallowed without being chewed.
Forming an H, the hyoid apparatus connects the back of the skull with the larynx and trachea. Its two upper branches, welded at their base to the vertical stem of the bone, are ossified in the Felis, which purr, and consist of an elastic ligament in the Panthera, which roar.
List of Cats In The Wild
Wild cats are divided into large wild cats, such as lions, tigers, etc., and small wild cats such as lynx. In this regard, we will talk about the List of small Cats In The Wild, which is spread on most continents.
The European wildcat (Felis silvestris) is a small wildcat species native to continental Europe, Scotland, Turkey and the Caucasus. It inhabits forests from the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Central and Eastern Europe to the Caucasus. It has been extirpated in England and Wales.
The African wildcat (Felis lybica) is a small wildcat species native to Africa, West and Central Asia up to Rajasthan in India and Xinjiang in China The IUCN Red List status Least Concern is attributed to the species Felis silvestris, which at the time of assessment also included the African wildcat as a subspecies.
In Cyprus, an African wildcat was found in a burial site next to a human skeleton in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B settlement Shillourokambos. The graves are estimated to have been established by Neolithic farmers about 9,500 years ago and are the earliest known evidence for a close association between a cat and a human.
Their proximity indicates that the cat may have been tamed or domesticated. Results of genetic research indicate that the African wildcat genetically diverged into three clades about 173,000 years ago, namely the Near Eastern wildcat, Southern African wildcat and Asiatic wildcat. African wildcats were first domesticated about 10,000 years ago in the Near East, and are the ancestors of the domestic cat (F. catus). Crossings between domestic cats and African wildcats are still common today.
The Cretan wildcat is a member of the genus Felis that inhabits the Greek island of Crete. Its taxonomic status is unclear at present, as some biologists consider it probably introduced, or a European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris), or a hybrid between European wildcat and domestic cat (F. catus).Felis silvestris cretensis was proposed as the scientific name for the Cretan wildcat in 1953 by Theodor Haltenorth.
He described two cat skins that were purchased in a bazaar in Chania and resembled a skin of an African wildcat (Felis lybica lybica), but with a bushy tail like a European wildcat. In the 1980s, Colin Groves measured and assessed zoological specimens of cats that originated in the Mediterranean islands. He concluded that the two cat skins from Crete differed from true wildcat specimens and therefore considered them feral cats.
The Asiatic wildcat (Felis lybica ornata) is an African wildcat subspecies that occurs from the eastern Caspian Sea north to Kazakhstan, into western India, western China and southern Mongolia.
It is also known as the Asian steppe wildcat and Indian desert cat. The status Least Concern in the IUCN Red List is attributed to the wildcat species complex. There is no information on current status or population numbers for the Asiatic wildcat’s entire range, but populations are thought to be declining.
The Arabian wild cat (scientific name: Felis silvestris Gordon) is a subspecies of the wild cat subspecies living in the Arabian Peninsula and was first described in 1968 by ornithologist James Marius Harrison. It was named in honour of Major SC Gordon, who collected samples of the species in Oman.
The Arabian wild cat is very similar to the domestic cat, in terms of size and appearance. The fur is short and dense, gray-brown, ash-grey or orange-yellow, with dark markings on the head and a dark stripe on the body and edges and near the tip of the tail. Its underparts are white and there is black hair between its feet and on the sole of the foot.
This cat is endemic to northern Oman and parts of the United Arab Emirates. Its typical habitat is in semi-desert areas between rocks and low trees, where males maintain an area (animal) that may reach several square kilometres, and females in somewhat smaller areas.
The Corsican wildcat is a feral domestic cat (Felis catus) that used to be considered as a subspecies of the African wildcat (Felis lybica), but is now regarded to have been introduced to Corsica around the beginning of the first millennium.
In 2019, several newspapers reported on the supposed discovery of the Corsican wildcat as a previously unknown cat species, calling it “cat-fox”.
Southern African WildCat
The Southern African wildcat (Felis lybica cafra) is an African wildcat subspecies native to Southern and Eastern Africa. In 2007, it was tentatively recognized as a distinct subspecies on the basis of genetic analysis. Morphological evidence indicates that the split between the African wildcat subspecies in Africa occurred in the area of Tanzania and Mozambique.
It is also known in English as the ‘bush cat’
The Caucasian wildcat (Felis silvestris caucasica) is a European wildcat subspecies that inhabits the Caucasus Mountains and Turkey.
The Caucasian wildcat differs from the European wildcat by being lighter grey in colour, with a fainter pattern on the sides and the tail. It is similar in size.
In Turkey, the wildcat is considered common in mesic and mixed oak-beech forests of the Pontic Mountains, but rare in the Marmara and Aegean Sea regions. In the Taurus Mountains, it probably only occurs in the deciduous forest of Kahramanmaraş Province. It is possibly extinct in the Eastern Anatolia Region.
Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul), also called the manul, is a small wild cat with a broad, but fragmented distribution in the grasslands and montane steppes of Central Asia. It is negatively affected by habitat degradation, prey base decline and hunting. It has been classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2020.
The Pallas’s cat was first described in 1776 by the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas
The Abyssinian /æbɪˈsɪniən/ is a breed of domestic short-haired cat with a distinctive “ticked” tabby coat, in which individual hairs are banded with different colors.In nomenclature terms, they are also known as simply Abys. The breed is named for Abyssinia (now called Ethiopia), where it is believed to have originated.
In terms of the domestication of cats, analysis has found the Abyssinian to be one of the oldest types of the animal in existence, with mummified cats in Egyptian tombs studied by archaeologists appearing similar to the modern breed’s standards. Although regarded as comparatively obscure in the past as a breed compared to others, the Abyssinian currently ranks among the top five most popular breeds worldwide.
The breed’s distinctive appearance, seeming long, lean, and finely colored compared to other cats, has been analogized to that of human fashion models. Personality-wise, the cats traditionally display active, curious attitudes in which they frequently follow owners around and encourage play, being regarded as the “Clowns of the Cat Kingdom.”Their dog-like characteristics also involve a particular sense of affection and desire for interaction.
Note: in the list Cats In The Wild we didn’t talk about all cats, just the most famous wildcats species.