Caucasian forest cat an animal that belongs to the detachment of predatory and the cat family.
Representatives of this species live on the territory of the Caucasus and Turkey. The animal is inhabited by Dagestan with Chechnya, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territory, as well as North Ossetia and the Republic of Adygea. The habitat covers a small part of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The northern border in Eurasia is at 45 degrees of northern latitude.
In the Caucasus, the animal lives at about an altitude of 2000 m above sea level, the forest cat prefers broadleaved and coniferous forests. At the Terek and Kuban River, the predator hides in the thickets of reeds. The animal loves deaf areas, as he prefers to be invisible. Sometimes a forest cat hides in buildings or near houses. Often, hollows and crevices in the rocks, holes of other species become refugees.
Caucasian forest cat is a large animal. The body weight of males varies from 3.1 to 8 kg, in females this indicator ranges from 3 to 6 kg. The length of the body of male individuals is 50-67 cm, female-52-61. The tail of the predator is long-about 20-30 cm. The claws of the animal are sharp. The head has an oval shape. The length of the animal’s ears is 7 cm, they are planted wide and do not have brushes at the ends. The eyes of the forest cat are large, she has no eyelashes. The Caucasian forest cat has white 50 mm vibrissas, their number varies from 7 to 16. The pupil of the animal is vertical, the iris has a yellowish color. The nose is pink.
The wool of the predator is dense in winter. Typically, gray color with red spots, on the ridge, like on the head, is a black strip. Throat with belly and inguinal area reddish. The osrist shade is noticeable in the subsidiary area. There are gray spots on the predator’s stomach. There are black rings on the tail of the Caucasian Forest Cat, there are 3-8 of them in total.
Forest cat can climb trees, but always hunts on land. The diet of the predator includes rodents and lizards, birds and eggs of other species. In the Kuban river, the basis of the diet is such species as a water rat and an ondatra. In the north of the Caucasus, the animal eats mainly mouselike rodents. This animal can eat about 20 flights for one lunch. The territory of each animal covers approximately 3 km2 sushi.
In the case of a total shortage of the main components of the diet, the forest cat opens the hunt for hares with muskrats, pheasant and young horses. Sometimes a representative of feline catches poultry. Forest cat is also cereals with fruits, carrion and small insects.
Barsuk and raccoon, fox and raccoon dog are enemies of the forest cat. They often fight for food.
The rutting period begins at the end of winter spring. At this time, males wipe their secret about the bark of trees to attract females. During the rut, fights among males do not stop.
Forest cat hatches cubs for about 70 days. Usually 3-5 babies are born. At the time of birth, they are blind and helpless. Newborn weight 40 g. Vision appears only on the 9th or 12th day. Incisors appear in two weeks, milk teeth are replaced by indigenous already on the 160th day.
Kittens are born coated with chubby wool. The upper body of the light of light color with brown spots. There are dark stripes on the hind limbs. There are already several black rings on the tail of the cubs. There is a bright red spot on the baby’s nose at birth. Mother feeds them with milk for 4 months, but for a month and a half, kids eat mice and rabbit, hares.
Already at 2 months, the cat teaches the cubs to hunt. For six months, males leave, and females remain with their mother up to a year the onset of puberty. However, offspring often appears only at 3 years old.
Caucasian forest cat is more active at night, but in the summer the animal hunts in the daytime. The predator has been watching the prey for a long time, sitting in an ambush, and then gets the game by surprise or begins with chase. If the victim is small, the forest cat grabs its claws and bites the neck. A large animal Predator usually shouts the sleepy artery.
This subspecies of a forest cat is listed in the Red Book of Eurasia. This species is rare. The animal is protected in the Teberdine Reserve, in the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve. The latter is only 120 animals. At the moment, the population in the reserve is stable, its number is reduced only in winter. The main reason for the disappearance of the species is deforestation, another reason is poaching.
Life in captivity
Caucasian forest cat loves freedom and has a strong character. The animal is often aggressive and can bite, therefore it is better to choose kittens from nurseries. The diet of a predator should consist of fresh meat, fruits.
As a rule, domesticated representatives of cats differ from wild relatives in size: they are smaller, their teeth are not so sharp. Such forest cats can be transported in a carry, not to be afraid to leave with children and train.
Caucasian forest cat can try to catch hamsters, rats and mice in the house, as well as to conduct pursuit of birds.
- In the past, wild forest cats guarded people’s dwellings and were actively used for various purposes in war. These animals were quite expensive, they cost like an adult bull.
- According to evidence, Caucasian forest cats were seen already during the reign of the Duke of Wales. They began to dominate them about 3,000 years ago.
- Forest cats usually hiss when they are angry, but they can be meowed.
- Animals often migrate in winter.
- In winter, forest cats lose weight, and in the summer they gain, increasing body weight several times.
- The maximum life expectancy is 21 years, but usually cats die at 13 years old.
- The animal often makes 3 meter jumps during hunting.
- Caucasian forest cat molting twice a year.
- Where the forest cat is in the neighborhood with the Kamyshov cat, it often settles in the socalled “horse” forests that are on the slopes of the mountains.
- This representative of the cat swims well, but with a “retreat” hides only in hollows.
- On the Colchis lowland, next to Batumi and Poti, forest cats have to walk along the mud and moist grass, they constantly swim fast streams.