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What is the biggest threat to the Wildcat?



While hunting, habitat loss, and other forms of persecution are definitely concerns, currently the biggest threat to most of the Wildcat (Felis silvestris) subspecies is hybridization with feral domestic cats.

Domestic cats are capable of cross-breeding with all of the Wildcat subspecies and some of the other cat species as well. Commercial breeders have taken advantage of this to create new cat breeds (breeds are not the same as subspecies).

For example, the Bengal breed is a domestic cat and Asian Leopard Cat hybrid, the Chausie breed is a domestic cat and Jungle Cat hybrid, the Safari Cat breed is a domestic cat and Geoffroy's Cat hybrid, and the Savannah breed is a domestic cat and Serval hybrid.

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