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Wild species (Felis silvestris) of cat (family Felidae) native to Eurasian forests. Very similar to the domestic yellowish tabby, it will interbreed with domestic cats (of which it is presumably an ancestor). It is 20–32 in. (50–80 cm) long, excluding the 10–14-in. (25–35-cm) tail. It stands 14–16 in. (35–40 cm) and weighs 6–20 lbs (3–10 kg). Solitary and nocturnal, it preys on birds and small animals. In North America the name is used for the bobcat and lynx; in Africa it refers to the Caffre cat.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on wildcat, visit Britannica.com.