Animals & Attractions

There are several wildcats here at Highland Wildlife Park.

While some of our wildcats can be seen in the Woodland Walk, the rest are hidden away in our special off-show breeding area. These enclosures are designed to help kittens retain and develop the key behaviours they need to survive in the wild, which will help us deliver the first UK reintroduction project for wildcats, Saving Wildcats.

 

You can help feed and care for our wildcats, and other threatened animals around the world by donating today - if you can, please support our Survival Fund.

Fun facts!

  • Wildcats may look similar to pet cats, but there are several differences including the wide, flat head, ears pointing more sideways, ringed, bushy, blunt-ended tail, and distinctly striped coat
  • The wildcats genetic make-up, blood type and skull features also set them apart from our domestic cats
  • As meat-eaters, wildcats spend long hours sleeping and digesting their food during the day. They are most active at night, particularly around dawn and dusk
  • Unlike the domestic cat, the wildcat is a seasonal breeder. Mating season occurs in February and kittens are born roughly 68 days later

How we're helping

We have been involved with wildcat conservation for over 10 years and continue to play a critical role in long term recovery efforts for this species. We believe it is vital that we protect our last remaining native cat species in Britain. The wildcat is one of the few British native predators left and it performs an important ecosystem function. As well as this, the wildcat has long been part of our cultural heritage in Scotland, with many clan crests featuring this iconic felid.

At the end of 2019, we secured a funding grant from the European Union LIFE programme to deliver a wildcat recovery project, Saving Wildcats. This project includes the development of Britain's first dedicated wildcat conservation breeding for release centre and aims to secure the future of the species.  

Working together with the project partners, the UK’s captive breeding holders for wildcats and international specialists in species recovery, Saving Wildcats is the greatest hope for wildcats in Scotland.

 

Find out more about the project and how you can help. 

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