The wildcat (Felis silvestris) is a small cat found throughout most of Africa, Europe, and southwest and central Asia into India, China, and Mongolia. Because of its wide range, it is classed by the IUCN as Least Concern. However, crossbreeding with housecats is extensive, and has occurred throughout almost the entirety of the species' range.

The wildcat shows a high degree of geographic variation. Asiatic subspecies have spotted, isabelline coats, African subspecies have sandy-grey fur with banded legs and red-backed ears, and European wildcats resemble heavily built striped tabbies with bushy tails, white chins and throats. All subspecies are generally larger than housecats, with longer legs and more robust bodies. The actual number of subspecies is still debated, with some organisations recognising 22, while others recognise only four, including the Chinese mountain cat, which was previously considered a species in its own right.

Genetic, morphological and archaeological evidence suggests that the housecat was domesticated from the African wildcat, probably 9,000-10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent region of the Near East, coincident with the rise of agriculture and the need to protect harvests from grain-eating rodents. This domestication probably occurred when grain was yielded from the Agricultural Revolution onwards, which was stored in granaries that attracted rodents, which in turn attracted cats.

Read more about Wildcat:  Taxonomy and Naming, Communication, Diseases and Parasites, Range

Other articles related to "wildcat, wildcats":

Wildcat - Relationships With Humans - Hunting
... Although a furbearer, the wildcat's skin is of little commercial value, due to the unattractive colour of its natural state, and the difficulties present in dyeing it ... In the former Soviet Union, the fur of a forest wildcat usually fetches 50 kopecks, while that of a steppe wildcat fetches 60 kopecks ... Wildcat skin is almost solely used for making cheap scarfs, muffs, and women's coats ...
African Wildcat
... The African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) is a wildcat subspecies that occurs across northern Africa and extends around the periphery of the Arabian Peninsula to the Caspian ... The African wildcat appears to have diverged from the other subspecies about 131,000 years ago ... Some individual African wildcats were first domesticated about 10,000 years ago in the Middle East, and are the ancestors of the domestic cat ...
List Of Batman: The Brave And The Bold Characters - Heroes - The Outsiders - Metamorpho
... Metamorpho helps in saving Wildcat's life when his heart stops in the middle of a fight by turning his body into oxygen in order to get into Wildcat's lungs ... At the end of the episode he is seen at Wildcat's gym heartily drinking down Wildcat's Tiger Tonic ...
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... Lee Ermey (as an old man), Lex Lang (younger Wildcat) A crime fighter from a bygone era who originally taught Batman how to box, as seen sparring with Batman at the start of the episode, Wildcat ... Due to trash talking, Slug released Wildcat, but left Batman for the giant turtles in a deep pit ... Wildcat fought against Slug while Batman escaped the pit ...
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... In the confrontation with Batman and Wildcat, Slug went head to head with Wildcat and was defeated by him ... Wildcat then threw him into the toxic waste-filled waters ...

Famous quotes containing the word wildcat:

    The worker can unionize, go out on strike; mothers are divided from each other in homes, tied to their children by compassionate bonds; our wildcat strikes have most often taken the form of physical or mental breakdown.
    Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)