|No feral or farm cat, the wildcat is a true wild species of cat just like a tiger or leopard; it was here long before we were and long before the domestic cat had first been bred by ancient farmers. Infamously the only wild animal to be untameable, even when captive reared, and one of the most elusive creatures in the world, Scottish wildcats may look a little like your pet tabby but these are incredibly tough super-predators capable of surviving Scotland's harshest winters, battling eagles and drawing the admiration of men who bested entire empires.
Tragically, our magnificent wildcats are critically endangered, and the latest surveys suggest less than 100 individuals survive in the wild. Numbers originally decreased due to deforestation and human persecution, but today the primary threat is cross-mating with feral domestic cats, a process called hybridisation. This gradually waters down the true wildcat genes, leaving behind hybrids which look a little like wildcats, but behave very differently.