Can wild cats become pets?

You must never do this if you see wild cats

There are up to 8,000 wild cats in Germany. Many people do not know this and confuse animals with domestic cats. The wrong behavior can be dangerous for the wildcat.

At first glance, wild cats look like the neighbors, but they are not pets. However, if you look closely at the animals, you can easily distinguish the wild cat from the domestic cat.

Difference between wild and domestic cats

The difference is particularly clear in the fur: This looks much more washed out in wild cats and is gray-brown with cream-colored areas. Most of the time, a white patch on the throat and a dark line on the back also adorn the fur of the wildcat. Basically, the fur is longer than that of most domestic cats.

The animals can also be recognized by their physique. The European wildcat is bigger, bigger and more powerful than a house cat. The tail of the wildcats is very bushy, making it appear thicker, but has a blunt end.

6,000 to 8,000 wild cats still live in Germany

The wildcat population in Germany has recovered somewhat in recent years. The experts currently estimate 6,000 to 8,000 copies on German soil. The animals are particularly widespread in low mountain ranges in south-west and central Germany, including Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Thuringia and the Harz Mountains.

Wildcats are solitary animals and mostly live in seclusion in large forest areas. The animals are out and about both during the day and at night and on the hunt. Wildcats have a keen sense of smell and are good, powerful hunters. As a rule, the animals are very shy and avoid contact with people.

Wildcats: You should never do that

Wildcat: Its bushy tail usually has a black tip and dark rings. (Source: picture alliance / Hauke-Christian Dittrich / dpa)

On the other hand, humans can pose a threat to cats. You should never approach a wildcat hiding place or a littering area. Because then it could be that the cat does not return to this place. The mating season of the wildcats is from January to March.

If you find a lonely wild cat or a kitten, you should leave the animals alone. Wanting to help the animals is well meant, but the worst thing you can do to the young wildcats.

Anyone who unknowingly collects young animals should put them back in the same place as soon as possible. When resetting, you should make sure that the animals have no contact with domestic cats or other sources of infection. Due to the risk of infection, the animals should not be brought to animal shelters or cat help.

You can report injured animals to the "Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany", the hunting tenant or a nature conservation authority. These offices provide advice on how to proceed even if you are uncertain.

Wildcats cannot be tamed

Wildcats cannot be used to humans because they cannot be tamed and never touched voluntarily. Even young animals are very defensive.

Keeping a wildcat at home would be difficult to do. Because the animals are not robust against infections and are used to taking care of themselves. Cat food is also malnutrition. Usually, wild cats need fresh, bone-in meat.

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