The Serval Conservation Organization

European Wild Cat
Felis sylvestris

Weight: 10-30 pounds 
Head/Body: 22-28 inches 
Tail: 12 inches 
Subspecies: 7

European Wildcats are found throughout Europe, Southwestern Asia and in the savannahs of Africa. Wildcats have camouflaged, grey-brown striped fur with bushy tails. Their fur is soft and short. They have five toes on their forefeet and four on their hind feet and their nails are retractable.

The European Wildcat is an older species, evolving from about 650,000 years ago. The wildcat is in the direct ancestral line of the domestic cat, and are thought to be descended from a subspecies of the African wild cat (Felis silvestris lybica), which it strongly resembles.

In contrast to the domestic cat, wild cats will breed only once a year, depending on the local climate. The domestic cat, unhindered by local climate or nutrition, can breed as much as 3 times a year.

It hunts by twilight from the ground, and seeks rats, squirrels, birds, small deer, domestic cats, small dogs, and poultry. It is usually considered vermin by farmers and villagers.

The European Wild cat, or wildcat, is listed as Least Concern. It does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.