Animals

Wild forest european cat

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A prominent representative of long-livers with a capricious character is a forest cat. In the article I will talk about the features of the breed, lifestyle and rules of feeding a fluffy pet. I will also pay attention to the issue of breeding and keeping a cat at home.

Description of the appearance of a wild forest cat

At first glance, it is unlikely that it will be possible to find differences between a forest cat and a pet, however, zoologists distinguish the following features of the breed:

  • larger body parameters,
  • blunt end of tail,
  • dense body
  • legs are low, and the body is elongated,
  • ears wide apart, have the shape of a triangle with a slight rounding, brushes are missing,
  • tail part is fluffier.

The parameters of the female, like those of pets, differ from the males; the length of the body reaches 70 cm with a weight of 4-6 kg, while the male individual grows up to 90 cm in length with a weight of 7-8 kg.

The height of forest cats can reach 40-43 cm at the withers

The color of forest cats is similar to ordinary decorative Murkas - a gray background with dark (brown and black) stripes along the whole body and limbs. But vision and hearing in wild animals are much better developed, which cannot be said about instinct.

A wide eye incision gives the cat a special appeal, makes the look more expressive. Eye color - yellow-green with the so-called third century - blink membrane.

Life expectancy is 15 years, and in natural habitat the age reaches 30 years.

Cat's habitat

The historical trail of a forest cat has been celebrated since ancient times, to be exact 12 thousand years ago. At that epoch, many representatives of flora and fauna died out due to the cold climate, and this breed managed to survive and successfully reproduce, interbreeding with feral domestic cats.

Habitat became high mountains and dense forests located in the European and Central European part (from the western part of Russia, the Caucasus to the British Isles, including the Balkan Peninsula).

Also, there are breeds of wild animals that live in the Far East, this is a Far Eastern (leopard) cat and Amur forest cat.

Lifestyle and nutrition

In the wild, forest cats live alone, gathering in small groups only during the mating season. The usual place is smooth. Adult individuals mark their territory, occupying an area of ​​up to 2 hectares, and in mountainous areas up to 60 hectares.

Activated animal at night, due to hunting habits. The daily rate of natural cats is more than 10 rats or mice (in captivity the daily rate of meat is 900 grams). Under natural conditions, hunters manage to catch up to 20 rodents.

As soon as the animal emerges from its shelter, the predator literally falls on him, covering his paws, leaving no chance for escape. Forest cat gracefully catches ducks directly from the pond, sitting on a branch hanging above the water.

At that moment, when the prey swims, the cat tenaciously grabs her paw by the neck or back. Squirrels do not escape from it either, by their ability to jump from tree to tree, overcoming great distances, they are not inferior to each other.

Forest cats feed on small birds and rodents

Food for a forest cat living in nature are:

Character and habits

Like any predator, a forest cat is active mostly at night, during the day time is spent on rest. However, the animal takes overcast weather for twilight, so it can be seen in search of prey.

The process of hunting is quite entertaining, the cat does not waste energy: with an unsuccessful pursuit, he waits for a new victim.

Shyness and reaction rate enable the forest cat to overwhelm quite large prey, exceeding its own size several times. Jumping on the victim's back, the predator gnaws through the carotid artery, leaving no chance for survival. Treats are the internal organs of animals.

When fishing for small animals and rodents, no less energy is expended, because at least 20 of them are needed to quench the feeling of hunger.

History of origin

According to the latest scientific data, wild cats appeared during the Pleistocene, which ended about 11,700 years ago and is characterized by extremely harsh climatic conditions. The successive offensive and retreat of glacial masses on the world continents caused a sudden change in climate, which triggered a strong activation of speciation processes. This led to a large variety of new forms in the animal and plant world, more adapted to the real conditions of life (woolly rhinos, mammoths, giant deer, cave lions, etc.). Not all animals were able to adapt to the ever-changing climate, many died out. But the cats succeeded, they have mastered dense forests and high mountains for living.

Wild cats live on earth for almost 12 thousand years

The scientific name of the forest wild European cat is European Wildcat. In Latin - Felis silvestris Schreber. What can be translated as - "wild, living in the forest."

Scientists believe that the domestication of cats occurred when people closely engaged in farming and began to lead a sedentary life. They stockpiled crops, which attracted many rodents. Which, in turn, became easy prey for cats.

Description of the species

If the forest cat equips its home not far from the people, then she will surely pay a visit. For farmers, wild cats are a real danger, as poultry (geese, chickens, ducks, etc.) often become their prey. It is quite difficult to visually distinguish a forest savage from an ordinary domesticated cat, therefore a wild animal rarely attracts attention.

Wild European cat is very similar to domestic cat

External data

The color of the wild cat is brown and smoky-gray with ocher patches. Along the entire spinal cord, starting from the shoulder blades, occasionally with a tail reaching, there is a narrow, almost black long stripe. Dark thin longitudinal stripes also run along the cheeks and crown. The sides and outer side of the paws are of a uniform, motley, light tone with brown spots or small stripes. The hair on the belly and inside of the paws is quite light with an ocher tinge.

On the back of the cat is a dark stripe.

The coat is higher and thicker than that of a fellow living with people. On the tail there are several (5–7) transverse surrounding black stripes. The tip is always dark. In winter, the fur becomes more uniform, fluffy and thick. Spring moult occurs in April-May, then in November the winter fur coat grows again. The summer color of the fur is a bit more colorful, and the ocher-brown spots are more pronounced. This allows the cat to merge with the surrounding forest landscape.

The main characteristics of the breed are as follows:

  • body length of males can reach 0.9 m, females - 0.7 m,
  • the weight strongly depends on the season, the abundance of prey and the age of the animal: the male - 3.5–7.8 kg, the female - 2.7–6 kg,
  • height at withers: male - up to 0.43 m, female - up to 0.4 m,
  • the constitution is strong and dense,
  • trunk elongated, elongated,
  • limbs of medium length, hind legs more powerful,
  • small head with large massive jaws and slightly elongated neat nose,
  • retractable claws,
  • the ears are small, triangular, slightly rounded, wide apart, no tassels at the ends (there are small individual hairs at the edges),
  • tail is shortish (compared to domestic cat) with fluffy and dense fur, the end is blunt (like chopped off),
  • the teeth are small but very sharp
  • whiskers (vibrissae) long, no eyelashes,
  • yellow sometimes greenish-yellow eyes are set close enough to each other, equipped with an additional conjunctival fold (blink membrane), protecting against a variety of accidental injuries and injuries.

The forest beast has a well-developed auditory and visual apparatus, the sense of smell is slightly weaker. In general, wild cats are much more massive and larger than ordinary pets.

With the help of a mustache cat easily detects prey

Vibrissae (mustache) cat uses to detect prey, which is very close to the muzzle. The vision of the beast is arranged so that he is not able to see the objects located under his nose. The slightest movements of the victim allow the predator to notice it in time.

European wild cats have a wary and often aggressive nature, friendliness does not differ. They always live alone, because they are single predators. Unite exclusively in the mating period. Each animal lives on an individual plot of about 2–3 km² (in mountains up to 50–60 km²), the borders of which are fiercely guarded and protected. The entire area of ​​the territory is marked with the help of an odorous secret secreted by special anal glands. The owner leaves the characteristic odor peculiar to him only on bushes, trees, stumps and stones, rubbing his head or back part of his body against them. These animals do not like strangers, they do not even reckon with their relatives.

Wild cats are aggressive and unfriendly

A wild cat avoids a person, trying not to approach close to housing. If people settle near him, then he goes even further into the wilderness.

From personal observations. Wild cats are often kept in zoos. Though they are not tamed, they feel good in the spacious cells. Especially with good nutrition. But they always look extremely serious, even severe. There are always crowds of visitors near their enclosures, these eternally gloomy and dissatisfied animals look so unusual. At the same time they remain beautiful and imposing.

Wild cat attracts the attention with a sad and displeased expression of the muzzle

Lifestyle and habits of a forest cat

The wild cat is most active at night, in the evening twilight and in the predawn hours. In the daytime, she prefers to sleep in her permanent den or other secluded place. On the hunt goes with the onset of the evening. The activity manifests within 1.5–2 hours before sunset, then takes a short break. Shortly before dawn, the beast goes out again to hunt.

Wild cats are more likely to hunt at dusk.

The European cat hunts more often from an ambush, but can sneak up on an unnoticed target. Approaching the desired distance, makes several powerful jumps and claws its prey. Sometimes waiting for the victim at the entrance to its hole or a secluded place. With a failed attempt, he almost never pursues a runaway trophy on the ground. However, in the heat, chasing a squirrel, can easily jump from branch to branch, like a marten. Large prey tries to jump on his back, get to the neck and gnaw through the artery. It kills small rodents by biting at the back of their neck or neck, having previously firmly grasped it with claws.

Wildcat often awaits a victim in ambush

A wild cat has a great ear. His ears rotate very quickly and can detect the source of an unusual high-frequency sound (up to 25 thousand vibrations per second). It captures the ultrasound noise that a small mouse-like rodent creates.

European cats can wait for rodents at the exit from the hole

In the dark, wild cat perfectly oriented. Can successfully catch the animal, which does not see, thanks to excellent hearing. Climbing trees very well and sometimes makes shelters high in the crowns, almost at the top of the head. In cloudy weather can come out during the day. If it rains, the animal will never leave the lair without urgent need. Wildcat can not tolerate rainy and wet weather, therefore, prefers to wait out bad weather in a dry shelter. The hunt will be postponed for another day.

The beast swims decently, but it does so extremely reluctantly. Even if he is in grave danger, he would prefer to climb a tree rather than climb into the water.

Meowing wild European cat in a low chest voice

The wild cat meows in a hoarse low uterine voice. But usually these animals are rather silent. Only at the end of winter, when the mating period begins, do they allow themselves to express their emotions in different growls, hisses and snorts. Due to the peculiar structure of the larynx and vocal cords can purr. An angry or aggressive cat makes a threatening howl and whistle.

The diet of the forest cat is extremely diverse:

  • birds (ducks, coots, quails, pheasants),
  • bird eggs and chicks,
  • rodents (squirrels, voles, gerbils, rats, moles, hamsters),
  • hares and rabbits,
  • insects,
  • snakes, lizards,
  • freshwater fish, crayfish, snails, clams,
  • muskrats, ferrets, martens and other small predators,
  • green leaves of some herbs,
  • ungulates (roes).

Wild cats hunt every day, as they only get enough food for one time. During the night, the beast can overcome up to 10 km, while eating up to 20 small rodents (approximately 500 g of meat). In large game, he eats away internal organs (liver, heart, etc.).

The beast hunts every day, as there is only enough prey for one time.

A forest cat eats, crouching on its hind legs and slightly stooping. Food bites off pieces, using the side teeth. Meat never tears off.

The animals are distinguished by a hefty gluttony. If there is a lot of food, then even a small kitten 1.5–2 months old can eat about 10 small rodents per day.

Breeding

Cats reach puberty at the age of about three years, females at two years. The period of the main rut occurs in the winter months (January-March). At this time, animals of both sexes actively mark their territory, and also cry out loud and wistful. A cat ready to mate gives off specific musky aromas that attract males. Around her is going to several individuals of the opposite sex, which are very aggressive and from time to time engage in violent fights. In groups of males there can be not only cats of one species, but also purebred animals. The female mates with them, so the offspring rarely turns out purebred.

During the rut, wild cats and cats vigorously mark their territory

In the battle for the female and for the fatherhood of the future kittens, the most powerful and enduring male wins.

When a cat becomes pregnant, she arranges a lair for the birth and rearing of kittens in old unused burrows, crevices and cracks of rocks or in abandoned hollows of large trees. The bottom of the lair is lined with feathers and grass, making soft bedding for future children. Pregnancy lasts from 63 to 68 days. Usually there are 2–4 (rarely up to 7) kittens in the litter, which are born blind, deaf and covered with a light fluffy coat. The weight of the kitten is about 200–300 g. After two or three days, the cubs crawl a little. After 11–15 days open eyes. Monthly animals with pleasure leave a den, frolic, run, play among themselves and climb on the nearest trees.

European wildcat makes a den in burrows or crevices of rocks

The mother feeds them milk for 3-4 months, but from about 1.5 months they begin to eat solid foods (meat). And already from two months the kittens follow their mother in search of prey, where she teaches them all the useful skills. The cat brings live prey to the hole in order to show it to kids as a teaching aid. The female actively protects her offspring and in case of danger quickly moves the kittens to another safer place. Despite the vigilance of the cat, which tries not to leave the cub for a long time, the mortality rate among them is quite high.

From two months on, the cat takes the kittens to the hunt.

Juveniles have a more variegated color, different from adults. Dark brown specks and specks are scattered all over the body, they merge on the back in broad lines, the tail and paws are covered with many transverse stripes. But by five months, the kittens are also gray-golden. Around this time, young males leave the mother in search of their hunting territory, while the females remain on the parent site.

Cats do not take any part in the cultivation and rearing of the young. All concern for the offspring lies on the cat.

Occasionally, the female may kittens a second time. The most recent kittens are born in late autumn or early winter.

Enemies of a European cat

A wild forest cat has enemies for whom it is an object of hunting. Wolves, foxes, lynxes, owls and hawks are the most dangerous. But the animal is well adapted for life in the wild, so catching it is extremely difficult. A healthy beast easily leaves almost any land enemy, as it instantly climbs up tall trees and climbs on them perfectly. The cat is able to hide well and hide in the crevices of the rocks.

The greatest danger to young and inexperienced wild cats is marten.

Serious danger to young wild cats are martens. While hunting for them, inexperienced youngsters often become prey to martens, although they are much larger than them.

Habitat and role in the ecosystem

The forest wild cat can be met in certain parts of Europe, in Asia Minor, in the south-western regions of Ukraine, and also in Russian territories up to the Caucasus Mountains. The beast prefers to settle in remote remote mixed deciduous deciduous forests (sometimes coniferous). Can live in mountainous terrain (on rocky sites) at an altitude of more than 2-3 km. Иногда выбирает для обитания берега рек, селится в густом кустарнике или зарослях тростника.

Дикие кошки обустраивают постоянные логова в заброшенных барсучьих и лисьих норах или в дуплах больших деревьев, не забираясь слишком высоко. Жилища выстилаются сухой подстилкой, состоящей из листьев, травы, мелких веток и перьев. Temporary shelters are depressions under steep rocky slopes, small pits or simply thick interweaving of branches. The beast is often used for the rest of the old abandoned nests of large birds (herons).

Wild European cat can arrange a temporary shelter in the trees

In the warm season, it often changes its rookeries, trying to escape from fleas and other blood-sucking parasites, which especially bother the animal in the summer. In the midst of winter, one can use one den for a long time, since it is difficult to move in deep snow. There are cases when forest cats settled in the attics of granaries, cottages, barns and other buildings.

An animal that settles near a human dwelling can cause significant damage, as it will hunt poultry. Since in some cases the cat eats only small rodents, it is more often beneficial in the wild. But it can destroy the eggs and chicks of valuable breeds of birds (turachi, pheasants, etc.).

Along with a fox, a wild forest cat is considered to be the carrier of a number of dangerous infectious diseases (rabies, toxoplasmosis, etc.).

Wild european cat in captivity

European wild forest cat is tamed with great difficulty, it is very difficult to keep it in captivity. The animal perceives the enclosed spaces extremely hard. Genetically laid wildness and independence cannot be overcome by dressure and upbringing. However, many zoos in the world contain these animals, where they successfully breed.

Keeping a wild European cat at home is very hard

From personal observations. Once upon a time a wild kitten came to our house. He was picked up by a familiar compassionate hunter in the forest. In appearance, the animal was 5–6 months old. He huddled under the cupboard, constantly hissed and rumbled, refused to take food. To take it in hand and there was no question. Sharp claws and teeth made the kitten dangerous to others. For about two weeks we tried to tame him, but everything was useless and the baby remained completely wild. During this time, he was very thin and began to look bad. I had to return it to the bosom of nature.

Features of maintenance and care

It is hardly possible to keep a purebred cat in an apartment, because it is extremely uncomfortable for the predator to live there. City conditions are absolutely not suitable for this animal.. Kittens born out of the wild inherit predatory instincts and a cautious attitude towards people from a wild mother. A wild animal adapted to natural conditions requires some freedom and considerable space to move. Therefore, more suitable private household with the possibility of keeping a cat in a spacious aviary.

It is recommended to purchase small kittens (not older than 2–4 months) from professional breeders who already contain several generations of domesticated wild animals. In this case, the cat can be tamed. But she will still be extremely freedom-loving, independent, and independent character and will never be affectionate. Babies born in captivity get used to a person from the very first days of life. Predatory habits are a little dulled, animals take food from a person, become more sociable and respond to affection.

It is recommended to buy kittens from professional breeders.

It is not advised to take a wild cat into the house if other pets already live there. They can hardly make friends. An attempt at coexistence may end in tragedy.

Feeding a wild European cat should be as close to natural as possible. In his diet include the following products:

  • lean meat (beef, chicken, rabbit, etc.),
  • milk products,
  • River fish,
  • offal (liver, heart, lungs, etc.),
  • the eggs.

It is necessary to give the pet vitamin and mineral complexes. Animals love young cat grass and sprouts of oats.

Feeding wild cats in captivity must be balanced.

Proper nutrition is extremely important for forest cats. Disruption of the diet can lead to an imbalance in the ratio of calcium and phosphorus in the body and cause increased trauma to the animal (bone fragility). A massive constitution and heavy weight make the situation much worse.

Competent care for these predators consists in regular vaccinations, taking antihelmintic drugs, claw cutting, cleaning the eyes and ears. It is necessary to take care of flea drugs (drops on withers, collars, etc.). It is necessary to constantly comb the wool, especially during the molting period.

Longevity and health

Genetically wild European cat has excellent health and strong immunity. However, with improper feeding and poor conditions, animals suffer from several diseases:

  1. Polycystic kidney disease. Multiple cystic formations in the renal pelvis, causing disruption of the urinary system.
  2. Glycogenosis. Very rare hereditary pathology caused by a lack of special enzymes. Kittens die in the first months of life.
  3. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Pathology of the cardiovascular system, inherited.
  4. Retinal dysplasia. Causes a decrease in vision.

With good care, the life span of a forest cat in captivity reaches 30 years, which significantly exceeds the lifespan in natural conditions.

Number of species

The size of the range of the wild European cat in recent decades has decreased significantly. The populations of these animals are greatly reduced due to the growing number of cities and the formation of suburban areas. In Europe, they are almost gone. The main threat to the species is a strong reduction in forest areas. The maximum density is no more than 20–30 individuals per hectare, but more often it does not exceed 2-3 pieces per 1 km². The change in the number of small mouse-like rodents, as well as adverse weather conditions (severe cold winters), has a significant impact on the population size. Often, the beast falls into the traps and traps.

The number of European wild cats has declined significantly in recent decades.

The wild Central European cat is listed in the CITES Convention (II Annex).

In Russia, the wildcat is recognized as a rare and small species common in a limited area. It is protected in a number of reserves and reserves (Tiberdinsky, Caucasus).

Want to know everything

Cat wild or forest, European Wildcat Latin name: Felis silvestris Schreber.

Initially, the area covered most of Western and Central Europe: in the north - to England and the Baltic Sea, in the south included Spain, Italy, the Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, its northeastern border passed through the western regions of the former Soviet Union. Now this subspecies inhabits Western and Eastern Europe, the south-western part of Ukraine and the Caucasus. For living, it prefers deaf mixed forests, if it settles in the mountains, it can rise to a height of 2-3 km above the sea level.

Wild cat leads nocturnal and twilight lifestyle. Dislikes slush, cloudy weather. Therefore, if it rains at night, the European cat will sit in its lair, and the next day will go hunting. Often they hunt before sunset and at dawn.


Forest cats are individualists who live alone and unite only for the mating period. Habitat ranges from 1-2 hectares on the swamps, up to 50-60 hectares in the mountains. The boundaries of the site of his master are marked by the fragrant secret of anal glands. Males during the rut in search of females can go quite far from the main place of residence. For permanent shelters, a wild cat in the woods usually chooses low-lying hollows of old trees. In the mountains, he also finds refuge in the crevices of rocks, old burrows of badgers and foxes.

It is noteworthy that in those places where there are a lot of badger holes, the cat in them not only arranges permanent shelters, but also escapes from danger, even if there are many trees around. A hollow or burrow intended for breeding is lined with dry grass, leaves, feathers of birds. Temporary shelters are small pits, depressions under cliffs, sometimes just a dense interweaving of branches. In the swamps, the cat is often hiding for rest in the forks of trees, in abandoned nests of herons.

The basis of the food of the forest cat are mice and voles, the second place belongs to chicken and waterfowl. In mountainous areas, he also catches and eats squirrels and dormice, from birds - pheasant, keklika, partridges. In its floodplains, its main prey is ducks of various species, shepherd birds, and also water rats and muskrats. During the breeding season, wild cats ruin many nests by eating eggs and chicks. In the years when there are a lot of hares, the forest cat successfully hunts them. In the river floodplains in the period of shallow water fish catches. Living next to a man, carries a fair amount of poultry.

Despite the relatively small size, the forest cat is a rather serious predator. So, he attacks the ungulates, such as roe deer, chamois, domestic and wild goats. In places where there are many Pasyuk rats or an ordinary hamster, they regularly fall on the tooth of a cat, although not every dog ​​will risk attacking these rather vicious rodents. Where the nutria is bred, the cat penetrates the farm and carries the young. Sometimes wild cats attack members of the weasel family - ermine, weasel, ferret. Cunhas are always desperately defending themselves, and may themselves strangle the unlucky cat.

On the hunt the cat goes out for 1-2 hours before sunset, in the middle of the night it takes a short rest, at dawn it is again active. Most often, he conceals the prey and catches in a 2-3 jumps up to 3 meters long, if the first throw is unsuccessful, the predator most often does not pursue the failed prey. He creeps up small rodents, sitting near the exit from the hole or at the crack in the stones. In the swamps, the cat sets up an ambush on a tree low above the water, from which it tries to catch a floating duck with its paw or to catch it by jumping on its back. In pursuit of a squirrel, a forest cat can climb to the very tops of tall trees, sometimes jumping in excitement from tree to tree, like a marten. The cat grabs a small sacrifice with its paws and kills it by biting the back of the head. Attacking a larger animal, he sometimes jumps on his back and tries to gnaw his neck.

With an abundance of food, the beast is quite voracious: a kitten in 1.5-2 months can eat up to 10 mice per day, an adult cat in captivity eats up to 900 g of meat. The forest cat, like all small cats, eats sitting on its hind legs and stooping, and does not lay its front legs on the ground (its elbows are raised). He usually bites off pieces of food with side teeth, and does not tear it off.

This beast deftly moves away from any ground pursuer, hiding in trees or in the crevices of rocks. The forest cat swims well, but reluctantly climbs into the water, even when it is pursued. A wild cat searches for prey with the help of hearing and sight, the sense of smell is poorly developed. Unwittingly transfers with difficulty, poorly tamed. The voice is a rather low hoarse meow. Like all small cats, it can “purr” while inhaling and exiting: this is ensured by the special structure of the larynx, which distinguishes small cats from large ones - panthers. In general, the vocal repertoire is quite diverse: different emotions are expressed by snorting, low rumbling, hissing.

Forest cat breeds 1-2 times a year. The main rut occurs in January-March, at this time both males and females often mark the territory more often than usual, loudly and plaintively shouting. The males, in groups walking after one female, from time to time fight for possession of it. Kittens of the first litter will be born in April-May, the latest ones - in early December. Most often, the female brings 3-6 kittens, they are completely helpless, covered with plump hair. The color of the young is different from that of the adult: dark brown spots are scattered over the body, merging on the back in wide stripes; the hind legs and tail are streaked with numerous transverse stripes. These features are more than the coloring of adult forest cats, correspond to the ancient type of coloring of small wild cats.

The male does not take any part in raising the offspring. All care lies on the female: while the kittens are small, she does not leave them alone for a long time, carefully protects small predators such as a ferret or an ermine from attacks, in case of danger, she drags into a new lair. Milk feeding lasts 3-4 months, but after a month and a half after the birth, the kittens try to eat meat. At this age, they begin to emerge from the nesting shelter and, as befits the younger chicks, fumble and play endlessly, often climbing on nearby trees. There they are in danger and hiding. At the age of two months, the kittens begin to follow the hunt for their mother, in another 2-3 months they separate and become independent hunters.

The European forest cat has many enemies who periodically hunt it. Among them are the most dangerous wolves, foxes, jackals. But it is very difficult to catch a cat (both wild and domestic), since it escapes from all ground predators in the trees, on which it perfectly climbs.

The wild forest cat, or rather its Caucasian subspecies, is listed in the Red Book as a rare species inhabiting a certain territory.

The Caucasian subspecies F. s. Lives in Russia. caucasica. The area in Russia covers the southern parts of Dagestan, Chechnya, Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia and Adygea. The northern boundary of the range in the Krasnodar Territory is approximately 45 ° N, eastern. the border descends 1-2 degrees south. On adjacent territories, the forest cat lives in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan.

A forest cat looks like an ordinary gray domestic cat, especially in coloring, so it is often difficult to recognize them, especially since domestic cats often run wild. His tail is shorter than that of a domestic cat, fluffy and thick, with a blunt tip. Ears are medium, rounded-triangular, without tassels, widely spaced. The coat is of medium length, relatively uniform - only the hair on the tail is much longer. Winter coat fluffy and thick. Wild cats molt twice a year: spring molt ends in May, autumn molt in mid-November.

Traces are indistinguishable from traces of a domestic cat and only slightly larger in adults. Cats have five fingers on each of the front paws, and only four fingers on the hind. Cats have claws that can retract into the sheath when not in use.

However, the cat lives in more southerly areas where there are no forests, inhabiting mainly marshes - reed and talc bushes along rivers and even the sea (for example, in Dagestan). Here for him at least individual trees are of particular importance, in the hollows of which he arranges housing. A wild cat can even live on floating islands: a lair is usually located in the center, next to it is a playground where kittens are eaten and kittens play, and a little distance away is a toilet. In the river valleys among the swamps and scrublands, sometimes it is found together with the Kamyshev cat.

In the mountains of the Caucasus, it lives at altitudes up to 2500-3000 m asl, mainly in the belt of deciduous forests, less often in coniferous forests. In the lower reaches of the Terek and Kuban lives in the reeds and thickets of shrubs. Prefers deaf forest areas.

Enemies: Enemies and competitors of the forest cat - reed cat, lynx, jackal, fox, marten. In particular, in the Carpathians, the departure of the cat from those areas where the lynx entered was noted. The most serious danger, despite its superiority in size, is for the marten cat - itself a wild cat prey, they cause the death of many young cats, particularly in Central Europe. As for the reed cat, its range only intersects with the forest range in places - in particular, in the Caucasus, and even there these species are separated biotopically: the reed inhabits low-lying areas, and the forest settles higher - on the mountain slopes. There is no data regarding the fox, the jackal himself avoids a wild cat, leaving carrion at its appearance and starting to eat again only after the cat leaves.

The forest cat is a typical predator with a wide and diverse range of prey. Its usual food is small rodents: mice, voles, dormice. In second place are the birds, especially chicken - in Dagestan, for example, broods of partridges and pheasants suffer from a wild cat. Small birds play a smaller role in the diet. In the last century, the cat hunted a bustard, and once in the lair even the feathers of the white-tailed eagle were found.

In the habitats close to water, its main food is gray rats, water voles, muskrats, sometimes nutria and birds nesting here — coots, chaps, gray ducks. The cat catches fish, in particular, trout in small streams during spawning, eats crayfish, mollusks, insects, and occasionally plants, mainly leaves of sedges and cereals. He hunts hares and rabbits, insectivores (moles, shrews), reptiles (lizards, and possibly snakes), and is able to hunt small predators (weasels, ermines, ferrets, martens). His attacks on young roe deer and chamois were repeatedly noted, perhaps some cats even specialize in them.

Wild forest cats have well-developed hearing and vision, flair is weaker. Cat ears can rotate quickly to identify the source of a particular sound and can respond to frequencies of up to 25,000 vibrations per second. Из-за этой способности, коты могут слышать даже ультразвуковые шумы, создаваемые маленькими грызунами. Это иногда позволяет им обнаружить и захватить добычу, которую они не видят. Их зрение хорошее, но вероятно не лучше, чем у людей. Количество цветов, которые видят коты меньше, чем человеческий спектр. Глаза котов расположены на передней части головы. Хотя это позволяет им иметь превосходное восприятие глубины (стереоскопическое зрение) - полезный инструмент при охоте, коты не могут видеть объекты непосредственно под их носами.They also have the ability to see even very small movements, which helps them to detect prey in time. Their eyes are adapted for vision in a dim light for the pursuit of prey in the evening twilight or before dawn.

Another outstanding sense organ in cats is the whiskers, or vibrissae. The whiskers are special hairs that are used as highly sensitive sensory organs. The cat uses its whiskers to determine if its body can squeeze through small holes, such as small pipes or other objects. They also use them to detect the movement of prey in the vicinity of their muzzle.

The cat is predominantly nocturnal, although there is information about day hunting, mostly in cloudy weather and especially in summer. Usually, the hunt begins an hour or two before sunset, in the middle of the night should rest, and at dawn, the cat again goes for prey. One European wildcat traveled 10 km per night.

Hollows, crevasses in the cliffs and burrows of other animals serve as the usual refuge. Among the stones and in the burrows, cats line the dwellings with dry grass, leaves, feathers, and in the hollows they are satisfied with the natural litter of dust. In summer, they often change their resting places, trying to get rid of fleas, especially numerous at this time, but in winter, when high snow makes it difficult to move, they can stay in the same den for a long time. Not once noticed their tracks near human houses and even in the buildings themselves - in the attics of sheds and cottages.

Perfectly climbs trees. Hunting from ambush or skradom, moving completely silently.

Depending on the objects of hunting, its methods are different, but there are also general moments. The cat usually sneaks up to the prey, and when it comes nearer it catches it, makes several jumps, and fails on the ground it does not follow. However, if the victim jumped on a tree while hunting, he could chase the victims, climbing to the very tops and even jumping from tree to tree. Sometimes the cat watches the prey at the exit from its burrow or other shelter.

Small cat cat claws and kills, biting through the neck or neck, large jumps on his back, trying to gnaw through the carotid artery. If the hunt is successful, a wild cat can eat more than 2 dozen mice with a total weight of about half a kilo, but in large prey it is usually only interested in the insides - the heart, lungs, and liver. In captivity, an adult animal usually eats up to a kilogram of meat per day.

In the mountains of the Caucasus are characterized by regular seasonal migrations, especially in snowy and cold winters

Social structure: leads a secretive solitary lifestyle. The individual site occupies about 2-3 km2.

To communicate, cats use both a variety of sounds that communicate different intentions, as well as certain visual signals during a personal meeting, such as: lifting the hair on the dorsal side, moving the tail and facial expressions.

Males of wild cats mark the boundaries of their territory by spraying “fragrant” urine on various objects of their plot. Cats have odor glands on the forehead, around the mouth, and near the base of their tail. The cat rubs these glands on various objects to mark them with its smell.

The genetic proximity of the forest and domestic cats in certain conditions is a prerequisite for the formation of hybrid forms, the frequency of occurrence of which increases in proportion to the degree of anthropogenic transformation of natural habitats and disruption of the population structure of the forest cat. However, in the conditions of the North. The problem of the genetic purity of the forest cat population in the Caucasus is not as acute as in Western and Southern Europe.

In view of the aggressive relations between cats during the rut, there is a doubt about the possibility of successful competition of domestic males, smaller and weaker, with wild ones. From this it is concluded that hybridization can only affect the type of domestic cats. However, not only males are subject to wildness, but apparently, females are equally affected, and the offspring of wild males that they bred in free conditions will still dwell with the wild population, somehow mixing with it.

Thus, if the very possibility of hybridization between a domestic cat and a wild one is quite natural, opinions about its actual natural scales seriously diverge.

Cats settling near the dwelling can eat poultry. The forest cat harms the destruction of various bird birds, but at times it feeds almost exclusively on small rodents, eating them in large numbers than is of obvious benefit. In the Caucasus, in places where there are many pheasants and turaci, it is undoubtedly harmful because it destroys these valuable birds.

Its commercial value is not great. Although in the middle of the XX century. the number of cats was influenced by hunting - in the 50s. in the North Caucasus, up to 5,000 skins were harvested each year. In modern conditions, hunting is not a significant limiting factor and, as a rule, is not focused. Forest cat often falls into the traps and traps set on martens.

Local cats carry a range of diseases that can be transmitted to humans, including rabies, cat fever and several parasitic infections.

Listed in Appendix 2 of CITES, Appendix 2 of the Berne Convention.

It is protected in a number of reserves (Caucasus, Teberdinsky, etc.) and reserves Northeast. Caucasus. Category: 3 is a rare species with a small number and common in a limited area. No special security measures have been developed. The problem of preserving a forest cat in Russia is closely related to the problem of streamlining logging activities in the North. Caucasus and the preservation of a unique belt of deciduous forests.

For several reasons, the main of which is forest reduction, today in many European countries the forest cat has disappeared. As a disappeared species, it is included in the Red Book of Belarus, its preservation in Lithuania is problematic. In Moldova (estimated mid-80s) remained 60-70 individuals. In Ukraine, it has recently been spread quite widely: throughout Polesie, especially in the west, in the Carpathians - to altitudes of 1200–1400 m - and Transcarpathia, as well as in the south-west along the lower reaches of the rivers. Now it is preserved only in the Carpathian Mountains (numbering 300-400 individuals) and, possibly, at the mouth of the Danube.

Over the past decades, the number and range of the Caucasian forest cat in Russia has declined primarily as a result of the destruction of natural biotopes. View disappeared in the lower reaches of the river. Sulak (Dagestan), the number of people in mountainous regions reduced as a result of the ongoing destruction of deciduous forests. In the most optimal biotopes, the population density can reach 20-30 individuals / km2, but usually does not exceed 1-2. The density of the forest cat population in the conditions of the Caucasus is subject to fluctuations with periods of about 2-3 years, which are usually associated with the dynamics of the number of mouse-like rodents and with adverse weather conditions (cold and snowy winters).

Data on the total number of forest cats in Russia are not available. In Dagestan in the late 80s. there were about 100 individuals of this species.

So here it is - our usual cat. A close relative, if not the same one, is a European wild cat.

And this is where our rubric started: Wildcats: MANUL

Life in captivity

Breed forest cat, due to its physiological characteristics, requires space and freedom. To keep such animals in small city apartments is not recommended, they are more suitable for a private house or apartment with a large area.

Having "complex character», the forest cat at home can sizzle at the owner, but, in general, is balanced, does not like to engage in conflicts, shows aggression extremely rarely. May well make friends with other pets, including the dog. Differs observation, gets used to a certain arrangement of objects. Dislikes guests and avoids. Pet is prone to show nocturnal activity, which causes inconvenience to owners.

Caring for forest cats does not present any particular difficulties - it is enough to regularly visit the veterinarian, comb the hair once a week, feed a balanced diet. The animal living in the apartment, you must walk. Diet on the content of proteins, fats and carbohydrates should not differ from that in the wild. It should include offal, lean meat, fish and vitamin supplements.

Wild cats have good health and with proper care can live more than 15 years.

You can buy a forest cat in a specialized nursery. The cost of the breed is quite high, the price starts from 10 thousand rubles.

Species: Felis silvestris Schreber = Wild [European, Forest] Cat

Cat wild or forest, European Wildcat Latin name: Felis silvestris Schreber.

Sometimes a forest cat and a steppe cat (F. lybica) close to it are combined into one species under the common name forest cat. Subspecies: Caucasian forest cat / Felis silvestris caucasica

Initially, the area covered most of Western and Central Europe: in the north - to England and the Baltic Sea, in the south included Spain, Italy, the Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, its northeastern border passed through the western regions of the former Soviet Union.

The Caucasian subspecies F. s. Lives in Russia. caucasica. Area in Russia about grabs the southern parts of Dagestan, Chechnya, Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia and Adygea. The northern boundary of the range in the Krasnodar Territory is approximately 45 ° N, eastern. the border descends 1-2 degrees south. On adjacent territories, the forest cat lives in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan.

A forest cat looks like an ordinary gray domestic cat, especially in coloring, so it is often difficult to recognize them, especially since domestic cats often run wild. His tail is shorter than that of a domestic cat, fluffy and thick, with a blunt tip. Ears are medium, rounded-triangular, without tassels, widely spaced. The coat is of medium length, relatively uniform - only the hair on the tail is much longer. Winter coat fluffy and thick. Wild cats molt twice a year: spring molt ends in May, autumn molt in mid-November.

Traces are indistinguishable from traces of a domestic cat and only slightly larger in adults. Cats have five fingers on each of the front paws, and only four fingers on the hind. Cats have claws that can retract into the sheath when not in use.

Cat teeth are extremely specialized. Fangs are excellent for getting victims (keeping the kill). Pinnacles specialize in chewing. The tongue is covered with very small, crooked papillae, which are used for grooming and licking meat from the bone. Although cats have a mustache, they have no eyelashes. They have a full internal eyelid, or a blinking membrane, which protects the eye from damage and drying.

Color: The overall tone is gray. A characteristic feature of the coloring is a narrow black stripe running from the shoulder blades along the ridge along the entire back, sometimes passing over the tail. On the forehead and crown there are 4 black longitudinal stripes. The sides and the outer side of the paws have dark stripes or non-uniform spots. The abdomen and the inner surfaces of the paws are lighter, with a hint of ocher, which also appears on the face of the head. On the throat sometimes there is a white spot, less often there are white spots between the front paws and in the groin. Tail: the end (several centimeters) is uniformly black, then - 5-7 transverse annular bands, more black and wide by the end, less - at the root.

In summer, the fur is lighter, with a lesser admixture of ocher and a less pronounced pattern. In young kittens that have not yet left the den, black velvety spots are brighter and larger in area than the main background. Perhaps the pattern and color fade with age. There are practically no sex differences in color.

An adult male reaches 91 cm in length (at 43 cm in height at the shoulders), the female - 40-77 cm.

Weight: Weight, depending on age, season and abundance of food, varies in males from 3.3 to 7.7 kg (usually 5-7 kg), and in females from 2.6 to 5.8 kg. Data on the weight of males up to 11.5, and females up to 10 kg raise serious doubts. Mentions of cats weighing 15 and even 18 kg are considered consequences of hunting exaggerations.

Lifespan: The maximum lifespan in nature is 15 years, in captivity - up to 30 years.

Voice: The sounds of a forest cat are like the cries of domestic cats. In particular, they include aggressive whistles and howling, gentle purring, hissing and other sounds.

Habitat: Unlike lynx, a species mainly of the taiga, the forest cat is a typical inhabitant of deciduous and mixed forests, which determines its habitat. The most typical habitat of this species is deciduous forests (in the Carpathians it is primarily beech). In the mountains, he prefers rocky and stony areas, where he arranges housing in crevices or placers, settles also in tree hollows (usually not very high), in hollows of fallen trunks, and may occupy abandoned foxes of foxes and badgers.

However, the cat lives in more southerly areas where there are no forests, inhabiting mainly marshes - reed and talc bushes along rivers and even the sea (for example, in Dagestan). Here for him at least individual trees are of particular importance, in the hollows of which he arranges housing. A wild cat can even live on floating islands: a lair is usually located in the center, next to it is a playground where kittens are eaten and kittens play, and a little distance away is a toilet. In the river valleys among the swamps and scrublands, sometimes it is found together with the Kamyshev cat.

In the mountains of the Caucasus, it lives at altitudes up to 2500-3000 m asl, mainly in the belt of deciduous forests, less often in coniferous forests. In the lower reaches of the Terek and Kuban lives in the reeds and thickets of shrubs. Prefers deaf forest areas.

Enemies: Enemies and competitors of the forest cat - reed cat, lynx, jackal, fox, marten. In particular, in the Carpathians, the departure of the cat from those areas where the lynx entered was noted. The most serious danger, despite its superiority in size, is for the marten cat - itself a wild cat prey, they cause the death of many young cats, particularly in Central Europe. As for the reed cat, its range only intersects with the forest range in places - in particular, in the Caucasus, and even there these species are separated biotopically: the reed inhabits low-lying areas, and the forest settles higher - on the mountain slopes. There is no data regarding the fox, the jackal himself avoids a wild cat, leaving carrion at its appearance and starting to eat again only after the cat leaves.

The forest cat is a typical predator with a wide and diverse range of prey. Its usual food is small rodents: mice, voles, dormice. In second place are the birds, especially chicken - in Dagestan, for example, broods of partridges and pheasants suffer from a wild cat. Small birds play a smaller role in the diet. In the last century, the cat hunted a bustard, and once in the lair even the feathers of the white-tailed eagle were found.

In the habitats close to water, its main food is gray rats, water voles, muskrats, sometimes nutria and birds nesting here — coots, chaps, gray ducks. The cat catches fish, in particular, trout in small streams during spawning, eats crayfish, mollusks, insects, and occasionally plants, mainly leaves of sedges and cereals. He hunts hares and rabbits, insectivores (moles, shrews), reptiles (lizards, and possibly snakes), and is able to hunt small predators (weasels, ermines, ferrets, martens). His attacks on young roe deer and chamois were repeatedly noted, perhaps some cats even specialize in them.

Wild forest cats have well-developed hearing and vision, flair is weaker. Cat ears can rotate quickly to identify the source of a particular sound and can respond to frequencies of up to 25,000 vibrations per second. Because of this ability, cats can even hear the ultrasound noise generated by small rodents. This sometimes allows them to detect and capture prey that they do not see. Their eyesight is good, but probably not better than that of humans. The number of colors that cats see is smaller than the human spectrum. The eyes of the cats are located on the front of the head. Although it allows them to have an excellent depth perception (stereoscopic vision) is a useful tool when hunting, cats cannot see objects directly under their noses. They also have the ability to see even very small movements, which helps them to detect prey in time. Their eyes are adapted for vision in a dim light for the pursuit of prey in the evening twilight or before dawn.

Another outstanding sense organ in cats is the whiskers, or vibrissae. The whiskers are special hairs that are used as highly sensitive sensory organs. The cat uses its whiskers to determine if its body can squeeze through small holes, such as small pipes or other objects. They also use them to detect the movement of prey in the vicinity of their muzzle.

The cat is predominantly nocturnal, although there is information about day hunting, mostly in cloudy weather and especially in summer. Usually, the hunt begins an hour or two before sunset, in the middle of the night should rest, and at dawn, the cat again goes for prey. One European wildcat traveled 10 km per night.

Обычным убежищем служат дупла, расселины в скалах и норы других животных. Среди камней и в норах коты выстилают жилища сухой травой, листьями, перьями, в дуплах же довольствуются естественной подстилкой из трухи. Летом они часто меняют места отдыха, стремясь избавиться от блох, особенно многочисленных в это время, зимой же, когда высокий снег затрудняет передвижение, могут подолгу держаться в одном логове. Не раз замечали их следы вблизи человеческих домов и даже в самих постройках - на чердаках сараев и дач.

Perfectly climbs trees. Hunting from ambush or skradom, moving completely silently.

Depending on the objects of hunting, its methods are different, but there are also general moments. The cat usually sneaks up to the prey, and when it comes nearer it catches it, makes several jumps, does not pursue it if it fails on the ground. However, if the victim jumped on a tree while hunting, he could chase the victims, climbing to the very tops and even jumping from tree to tree. Sometimes the cat watches the prey at the exit from its burrow or other shelter.

Small cat cat claws and kills, biting through the neck or neck, large jumps on his back, trying to gnaw through the carotid artery. If the hunt is successful, a wild cat can eat more than 2 dozen mice with a total weight of about half a kilo, but in large prey it is usually only interested in the insides - the heart, lungs, and liver. In captivity, an adult animal usually eats up to a kilogram of meat per day.

In the mountains of the Caucasus are characterized by regular seasonal migrations, especially in snowy and cold winters

Social structure: leads a secretive solitary lifestyle. The individual site occupies about 2-3 km2.

To communicate, cats use both a variety of sounds that communicate different intentions, as well as certain visual signals during a personal meeting, such as: lifting the hair on the dorsal side, moving the tail and facial expressions.

Males of wild cats mark the boundaries of their territory by spraying “fragrant” urine on various objects of their plot. Cats have odor glands on the forehead, around the mouth, and near the base of their tail. The cat rubs these glands on various objects to mark them with its smell.

If females of cats from the brood usually remain in their area of ​​birth, then males leave it and try to find an individual hunting area somewhere else. In areas with a high concentration of local cats at large, something like a hierarchy is formed between them. Newly arrived cats must go through a series of struggles with local animals before their position in the hierarchy is established, and they will take a worthy place in it (in the hierarchy).

Reproduction: Females, when they are ready to mate, emit odors that are extremely attractive to males. During this period of the beginning of the rut, the cries of forest cats are heard, similar to the cries of domestic cats, and desperate fights take place between the males. Marriage tournaments end with the mating of the strongest cat with the female.

Before giving birth, the female usually makes a nest in the hollow of a tree or in the crevices of rocks, sometimes in an old hole of a badger or fox. Kittens are born at the end of April or May - blind and helpless. They are completely covered with wool, like kittens of a domestic cat, and can crawl within the lair already in 3 days. Newborns weigh 38-45 g. Their bright blue eyes begin to open on the 9th-11th day, and they begin to darken in two weeks and receive their adult golden-yellow color at the age of about 5 months. Mothers feed them milk for 3-4 months.

While the kittens are small, the mother takes great care of them, protects them from small predators, and transfers them to another lair at danger. Females zealously feed on their offspring, but nevertheless many kittens die in the first months of life.

Kittens just over one month old already go out of the den, play, climb trees, and a half - begin to eat meat, and from two months they go hunting with their mother, staying with her for about five months. Kittens grow relatively quickly and by the autumn they differ little from adults and begin an independent life.

Young cats hunting alone in August is a common phenomenon, however they were noticed in the middle of June (Caucasian Reserve). It is described how, in the Carpathians, with snow falling, the female takes the offspring to lower-lying sites, where they remain - one after the other, but she herself returns to her site.

Males do not care about offspring. However, there are observations when wild cats (males) brought food to the lair, although the female chased the male if he approached too close to her kittens.

Pregnant and lactating females with kittens, seen in the second half of summer and autumn, suggest two litters per year, although it is possible that the second appears only if the first one dies.

The genetic proximity of the forest and domestic cats in certain conditions is a prerequisite for the formation of hybrid forms, the frequency of occurrence of which increases in proportion to the degree of anthropogenic transformation of natural habitats and disruption of the population structure of the forest cat. However, in the conditions of the North. The problem of the genetic purity of the forest cat population in the Caucasus is not as acute as in Western and Southern Europe.

In view of the aggressive relations between cats during the rut, there is a doubt about the possibility of successful competition of domestic males, smaller and weaker, with wild ones. From this it is concluded that hybridization can only affect the type of domestic cats. However, not only males are subject to wildness, but apparently, females are equally affected, and the offspring of wild males that they bred in free conditions will still dwell with the wild population, somehow mixing with it.

Thus, if the very possibility of hybridization between a domestic cat and a wild one is quite natural, opinions about its actual natural scales seriously diverge.

Season / breeding season: In Ukraine and the Caucasus, the rutting period occurs in February-March, and in warmer regions it can begin in January and even December.

Puberty: Females become sexually mature in the second year of life, males in the third.

Pregnancy: Pregnancy lasts about 2 months (63-68 days).

Progeny: Number of newborns - 1-7 (usually 3-4)

Cats settling near the dwelling can eat poultry. The forest cat harms the destruction of various bird birds, but at times it feeds almost exclusively on small rodents, eating them in large numbers than is of obvious benefit. In the Caucasus, in places where there are many pheasants and turaci, it is undoubtedly harmful because it destroys these valuable birds.

Its commercial value is not great. Although in the middle of the XX century. the number of cats was influenced by hunting - in the 50s. in the North Caucasus, up to 5,000 skins were harvested each year. In modern conditions, hunting is not a significant limiting factor and, as a rule, is not targeted. Forest cat often falls into the traps and traps set on martens.

Local cats carry a range of diseases that can be transmitted to humans, including rabies, cat fever and several parasitic infections.

Listed in Appendix 2 of CITES, Appendix 2 of the Berne Convention.

It is protected in a number of reserves (Caucasus, Teberdinsky, etc.) and reserves Northeast. Caucasus. Category: 3 is a rare species with a small number and common in a limited area. No special security measures have been developed. The problem of preserving a forest cat in Russia is closely related to the problem of streamlining logging activities in the North. Caucasus and the preservation of a unique belt of deciduous forests.

For several reasons, the main of which is forest reduction, today in many European countries the forest cat has disappeared. As a disappeared species, it is included in the Red Book of Belarus, its preservation in Lithuania is problematic. In Moldova (estimated mid-80s) remained 60-70 individuals. In Ukraine, it has recently been spread quite widely: throughout Polesie, especially in the west, in the Carpathians - to altitudes of 1200–1400 m - and Transcarpathia, as well as in the south-west along the lower reaches of the rivers. Now it is preserved only in the Carpathian Mountains (numbering 300-400 individuals) and, possibly, at the mouth of the Danube.

Over the past decades, the number and range of the Caucasian forest cat in Russia has declined primarily as a result of the destruction of natural biotopes. View disappeared in the lower reaches of the river. Sulak (Dagestan), the number of people in mountainous regions reduced as a result of the ongoing destruction of deciduous forests. In the most optimal biotopes, the population density can reach 20-30 individuals / km2, but usually does not exceed 1-2. The density of the forest cat population in the conditions of the Caucasus is subject to fluctuations with periods of about 2-3 years, which are usually associated with the dynamics of the number of mouse-like rodents and with adverse weather conditions (cold and snowy winters).

Data on the total number of forest cats in Russia are not available. In Dagestan in the late 80s. there were about 100 individuals of this species.

Captivity

The forest cat is a wild animal, but thanks to the efforts of the breeders the breeding of domestic animals adapted to a limited habitat is carried out.

Kittens born in captivity are not deprived of natural freedom-loving and self-reliance, so there’s no need to hope for acquiring an accommodating and characterless pet.

Forest cat loves space and can not be kept in the apartment

For normal living at home it is necessary to create the following conditions:

  • to equip housewhere the cat will rest and retreat from the household,
  • to equip feeding place and drinker,
  • establish a multi-level structure in the room where the pet could climb,
  • regularly visit the veterinarian for routine inspections and vaccinations,
  • develop a balanced diet.

Limiting the habitat to the walls of a small apartment is considered a mockery. Under favorable conditions, the pet lives up to 15 years.

The zoo's habitat is considered to be safer and more comfortable, where special enclosures with trees and structures are arranged for cats. Meals are served by park workers at certain hours, which dulls the hunting instinct of the predator.

The basic rules for caring for a forest cat are not much different from other breeds of Fuzzies. But to create a comfortable microclimate without love for the animal does not work out, even if you think about the situation and the issue of nutrition to the smallest detail.

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