Scottish Wildcat Day
Ever wonder where domesticated cats got their name? There was a wild cat that was smaller than a bobcat or lynx. The Scottish Wildcat, one of the last wildcat species left, is a remnant of wildcats that once roamed the globe before being domesticated. Scottish Wildcat Day is a celebration of this species and raises awareness on the dangers faced by the remaining wildcat populations.
Since time immemorial, the Highland Tiger has roamed these lands. In fact, it was evident that the Highland Tiger had crossed the landbridge from Europe to the British Isles when it first arrived in Scotland. The lands became more civilized, and man started competing for wild game birds. This led to the death of the Scottish Wildcat’s native population. Although they are a beloved and iconic part of Scotland’s landscape, they are slowly disappearing. They face threats every year, including predation and being bred by domesticated species.
1981 saw the dangers that the native wildcat faced and Scotland took steps to protect it under the United Kingdom Wildlife and Countryside Act. Despite their efforts, hybridization has made it unlikely that wildcats will ever be truly pure. Domesticated cats are not the only threat to wildcats. Their intermingling can also bring disease, such as feline calicivirus or fatal feline leukemia viruses. Scottish Wildcat Day reminds of the importance to protect species such as these, which have a long and distinguished history but are slowly disappearing from the planet.
Every day, work continues to protect the Scottish Wildcat. Donations are always welcomed at the organizations that fight for the cause. You might consider making your cat a Supercat if you live in Scotland. Supercats have to be micro-chipped, neutered and vaccinated. This protects the Scottish Wildcat against disease and hybridization. In countries without Scottish Wildcats, it also ensures that there are fewer feral cats. That’s good news for everyone! This is your chance to save the Scottish Wildcat and reduce feral kittens worldwide!