The Scottish Wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia) is a European wildcat found in the north and east of Scotland. The Scottish wildcat population used to be widely distributed across Britain but has declined drastically since the turn of the 20th century due to habitat loss and persecution.
Habitat: Scottish Wildcats are now found only in north and east Scotland. Their den sites include cairns, brash piles, logs, and under tree roots. Wildcats don’t like being in open ground so tend to use edges of streams, hedges and roads to move around.
Population: The population is estimated to comprise between 1,000 and 4,000 individuals, of which about 400 cats are thought to meet the morphological and genetic criteria of a wildcat.
Lifespan: Wildcats may only live for 2 – 3 years in the wild because of threats from disease, accidental persecution and traffic. In captivity the wildcats can live up to 15 years.
Diet: Their favourite food is rabbit but they will also eat voles, mice and hares.
Behaviour: Scottish wildcats can be nearly a metre long (98cm for males and 90cm for females). They are less active in bad weather and don’t like the rain and are mostly solitary creatures except during mating season (Jan – Mar). Kittens live with their mother for up to 6 months.
The Park is now closed for the winter. Please keep an eye on our website news section and via our social media sites for updates on the animals.