Saturday 22 October 2011

African wild cat hybrid

African wildcat
photo by lildude (Flickr)

It appears that the African wild cat hybrid is commonplace in Africa. No one, as far as I am aware, has named the hybrid cat, however. The African wildcat was one of the first wildcats to be domesticated (the other is the European wildcat). It is not hard to see why. Even today, 2011, African wildcats frequently live near human settlements and "frequently interbreed with domestic cats" (1).

The African wildcat is able to adjust to living near and with people. A South African biologist, Ray Smithers, raised a couple of African wildcat kittens.

A major threat to the survival of this species is its interbreeding with domestic cats. Mr Smithers, in 1983, said it was "becoming increasingly difficult to find purebred African wildcats....." The Scottish wildcat suffers from a similar threat.

(1) Source: Wild Cats Of The World ISBN-13: 978-0-226-77999-7 - University of Chicago Press.

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