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. They are solitary, nocturnal and mostly most active at dawn and dusk hunting for small to medium size mammals.
No-one has ever been able to tame a Scottish Wildcat not even when hand reared 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.
The Scottish Wildcats in our three centres are currently in non-breeding groups, as part of a new research programme involving DNA samples. We are waiting confirmation of the results so that we can hopefully continue breeding in the future. Our Scottish Wildcat here at Battersea is called Glen.