The African wildcat, also called Near Eastern wildcat, is a wildcat subspecies that lives in Africa and around the periphery of the Arabian Peninsula. Individual African wildcats were first domesticated about 10,000 years ago in the Middle East, and are the ancestors of the domestic cat. Due to their near identical domesticated relatives, the African wildcat is one of the most difficult African cat species to identify. Breeding with house cats (the only wild cat that will bread with a domesticated cat) has also made the African wildcat increasingly difficult to find.

Our African wildcats look very similar to our domestic farm cat, Nikita, and with the naked eye you will not spot the difference but their genes are different. The typical housecat has adjusted to a diet of ‘cat food’ from a bag or can but the African wildcats diet consists primarily of raw meat. Lizards, mice and small insects might also find themselves served up for dinner if they risk entering their enclosure!

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