• Question: how long will it be until you wont be counted as a wild cat

    Asked by crazymango55 to Scottish Wildcat on 21 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Scottish Wildcat

      Scottish Wildcat answered on 21 Nov 2017:

      That’s a difficult question to answer, because it depends on the help we get from humans to reduce our cross-breeding with feral and domestic cats. At present, a Scottish Wildcat is is counted as one that has at least 75% of the genetic markers found in the best examples of Wildcats that we know of. However, these genetic markers are only a tiny fraction of the information present in the full genome. The best estimates at present are that most of the Scottish Wildcats remaining in the wild only have three out of four grandparents that were actually Wildcats, but there might still be a few remaining that have all four of their grandparents that were Wildcats. One reason that sequencing the genome of the Scottish Wildcat is so important is to help identify and protect them. If humans do nothing, the only Scottish Wildcats that will survive are the ones that live in a few remote places where the weather is so harsh and the prey so scarce that hybrid and feral domestic cats couldn’t survive.