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Scottish wildcat

Also known as: Felis silvestris grampia

The Scottish wildcat is the only free-living native forest cat in the UK, sharing a history with the European wildcat which can be found all over Europe.


As pure carnivores, eating only meat, Scottish wildcats are equipped with excellent day and night motion-sensitive vision and incredible hearing, making them lethal hunters. These animals are notoriously difficult to see in the wild, their very thick, well-groomed and heavily-striped coat camouflages them into their environment.

Quick facts

Class: Mammal
Size: Up to 98cm long
Weight: Up to 8kg
Life span: Up to 15 years in captivity
Diet: Carnivore
Threats: Hybridisation, disease, persecution
Habitat: Windblown forestry areas, mountain foothills, meadows
Distribution: Scottish Highlands
Conservation status: Data deficient (DD)

If we do not act to conserve the Scottish wildcat, the UK will lose this magnificent creature to extinction.