The wild cat is not, as some believe, the ancestor of the domestic cat. It has a tufted tail, black at the tip, encircled with dark rings.
It lives in the woods and mountains of Europe and the Middle East. Solitary, it marks its territory with scent glands situated under its paws. It hunts at night, alone or in pairs, lying in wait or tracking down their prey. It eats rodents and birds. Its meow is lower and more powerful than that of the domestic cat.
The female cat may have two litters a year. The kittens are born in spring or in August. They are brought up, mostly by their mother, until around six months. Life expectancy is around fifteen years. The weight of the adult cat is between five and ten kg.
The wild cat should not be confused with the feral cat, a domestic cat which has returned to the wild, or a cross between domestic and wild cats.