First noticed in South Limburg, wildcats is hard to identify with it’s tabby like stripes and the body that is almost the same as an ordinary house cat, according to studies, the wild cat is back and on the move towards the north.
The wild cat is notoriously shy, so how do you prove they are back here in the Netherlands? It seems simple: baptize a stick in Valerian oil, which is alluring enough to get the animal to a camera and to photograph. On the sticky part of the stick you can gather some hair, because just like house cats, wild cats rub their heads along the stick in order to leave their own scent – which also means they leave their DNA. Research in the laboratory can then exclude any doubt as to whether it really is a wildcat or a feral cat.
Wildcats vs Domestic cats.
The difference between a domestic cat and the wild cat is not huge; the wildcat has coarser fur and a more strongly built body, has a tan coloured coat with faint broken lines. From the head to the tail, the wild cat has a stripe the runs down it’s spine which is narrower than that of the domestic cat. The tail is thicker and has three to five dark rings and ends in a blunt. The wild cat has a pale muzzle and feet. It is difficult to distinguish the animal from a tabby cat.
“We knew vagrants occasionally spent some time in South Limburg and then moved on. We wanted to know how long they stayed and where they moved, “said Linnartz on the investigation into the wild cat which he led from 2014 to 2015. Five animals were captured and fitted with a transmitter. “An unexpected success. We had permission to catch five. That seemed overconfident, but we had to let go number six within a year because we did not give him license to a transmitter. “