What is a semi-wild cat

This is how wild and domestic cats differ from each other

Wild cat or house cat? (Wild cat: Thomas Stephan; house cat: Lutz Göhler / pitopia.de)

Beware of confusion - this is how domestic and wild cats differ from each other

The European wildcat is not a feral domestic cat. In some cases, even experts can hardly distinguish a wild cat from a domestic cat with the naked eye. Ultimately, only a genetic test can bring safety. In addition to its appearance, unusually wild behavior can be an indication that it may be a wildcat. Wildcats cannot be tamed and are always shy of people.

Table: External characteristics of wild and domestic cats

characteristic Wild cat Domestic cat
Coat color gray with a creamy yellow to ocher hue, white throat spot shiny, great variability
Fur pattern clearly weakened, blurred drawing mostly clearly marked
anatomy appearing clumsier, as long-haired, thick legs Looking slimmer because it is short-haired, legs thinner
Head shape massive, broad snout shape delicate, slim snout region
Whiskers and whiskers white, strongly developed less developed, sometimes horn-colored
Nasal mirror bright flesh-colored mostly darker
ear Looks small because of the longer hair on the head Looks big, because the hair on the head is shorter
tail blunt-ended, very bushy, over 50 percent of the body length short-haired, pointed, up to 50 percent of the body length
Tail pattern Clearly darkened rings in the back half bright fields, colored silver-gray, usually not so sharply defined
Claws light horn colored light or dark horn colored
Hind feet black spots on the sole, very variable black sole drawing mostly to the heel

Help us to save the wildcat

Dense forests, light areas in between - the wildcat feels at home here. But today roads, settlements and intensively cultivated fields cross their habitat. With your financial support, the BUND can help the European wildcat get back on its feet. For example, we build green corridors out of trees and bushes and thus connect forest areas with one another. Our long-term goal is a network of forests across Germany. We have already laid out 25 corridors in the last 15 years, and more can follow thanks to your donation!

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Have you seen a wild cat?

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