The European wildcat is the only representative of the Felidae family that you can meet in the wild and on our lands.
Its range of distribution is quite extensive: the northern parts of the United Kingdom, Western and Central Europe to the Baltic Sea, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Balkan peninsula to the south, also meet in Asia Minor as far as the Caucasus. Unlike the rhyme who prefers the taiga, the European wild or wild cat is the typical inhabitant of deciduous and mixed forests – a fact that is decisive for its range.
Most often you can meet it in the beech forests (especially in the Carpathians), as well as in bushes or reeds. In the mountains he prefers rocky, stony areas where he places his lair in the slopes of the rocks. Sometimes he can choose a tree hollow (usually not very high), a hollowed log, or a forested or forested hollow. He may sometimes look huge, the European wild cat is a bit bigger than home cat. The effect is rather because of its longer and fluffy coat.
The adult male can reach up to 91 cm of body length (the usual is 58 – 75 cm) and shoulder height 43 cm and the size of the female is within 44 – 77 cm. Their tail is 30 – 34 cm long. The weight depends on the age, season, and abundance of food, and ranges within the 2.6
up to 8 kg. In the wild, they live for up to 15 years, but they are calmly reaching the serious age of 30 years!
The main color of the European wildcat color is gray with a characteristic narrow black strip that begins between the shoulders along the back to the tail and sometimes continues along it. There are two distinct dark colored stripes on the forehead and on the cheeks. The hips and the outside of the paws also have dark streaks or uneven and contrasting spots. On the stomach and inside of the paws, the skin is brighter, with a shade of ocher. This warm hue also appears on the face of the head – sometimes more pronounced, and sometimes very faint. Ochran often changes the overall impression of the basic color of the coat.
There may be a large white spot on the throat, rarely the white color can also occur between the front paws.
Especially interesting is the coloring of the tail of the European wild cat: its tip (a few centimeters) is dense black, then has 5-7 transverse black rings that are wider to the top of the tail and narrower to its base. The European wild cat is a night hunter. It mainly hunts small rodents and birds. Her main enemies and competitors (except man and hunting dogs) are the lynx, the jackal, the wolf, the fox and the whip.
There have been documented cases where the European forest cat leaves the areas where the lynx is housed. The jackal itself avoids contact with her. The fox and the barge also avoid it because they know perfectly well that their forces are flattened.
Interestingly, the biggest threat to the forest cat is the gold and the whites. Although they are a hunting object, they are the main cause of the collapse of young and young kittens. The sounds of the European cat are quite varied and generally similar to those of the home – aggressive whistles and whispers, gentle sweat, etc.
But do not be fooled by this resemblance. Unlike the wild African cat, her European kinner does not even give up taming even when she is raised by a tiny kitten.
According to some scientists, the size of this cat is decreasing not only because of the ubiquitous felling of forests in Europe but also because of its crossing
with petted cats. The breeding period is once a year.
it takes about 65 days, 2 to 4 kittens are born. The mother nursed them for about a month and a half, and then – about two and a half months later – with meat. The males reach sexual maturity at about 3 years, and the females – at 9-10 months.