|Mimi the hybrid|
A true wildcat wouldn't have the white under the chin but she isn't a domestic tabby either. She is a wildcat hybrid.
How do we know? Well we used a test developed from a study of wildcat skins in museums around the UK.
Using the patterns, size and number of stripes on her sides, legs, tail and head, her tail characteristics and colour she scored as a hybrid. Mimi probably had a wildcat father or grandfather, we know her mother was a domestic moggy.
You can see some of the differences on the chart. The true wildcat on the left (A) and the domestic tabby on the right (B)..
There is a second diagram to differentiate hybrids from domestic cats.
This is important so that hybrids of both sexes can be neutered along with domestics to prevent breeding with the surviving true wildcats. Mimi has been neutered.
West Ardnamurchan is home to the "Wildcat Haven" project. The aim is to conserve the remnant population of wildcats and their genes by trapping and neutering hybrids and feral cats.
Find out more at www.wildcathaven.org.uk .
Its hard to believe that she is up to 50% wildcat. She is so gentle and friendly, except where dogs are concerned, they find her very scary.
So far she has only been practising her stalking on the hens, no kills yet.