Wild Animals/What type of Cat

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Black Cat
Black Cat  
Black Cat
Black Cat  
QUESTION: Black cat min...20 (inches high at shoulder) nose to beginning of tail is 30 inches...short legs, broad face slight silver streak on centre of tail, very muscular.  Stays near a stream but travels about 3-4 days per sighting.  Also only sighted early fall to early spring.  I have many clear photos with size comparison to known objects.  Tail is nearly half it's length, track is size of bobcat, scat is that of non-domestic cat.  It avoids human contact but will travel where humans do.  Example driveway and walking trail.  I have read and know the size of of cougar....IT IS NOT A COUGAR nor am I reporting to see a black panther....I just would like a educated and informative opinion, of what type of cat it could be.

ANSWER: Dear Mark

Thank you for your question and photographs. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

http://novascotia.ca/natr/wildlife/wns/wns7f.asp says that the Canada lynx is most common on the highlands of Cape Breton Island and is rare on the mainland of Nova Scotia.

http://eol.org/collections/14283 says that the bobcat lives in Nova Scotia. Generally speaking, the bobcat has a short tail, but some specimens have a longer tail (see http://www.nbrr.org/identify). This website can help you determine if you saw a bobcat. There are also black specimens of bobcat (see http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1887921/posts).

I can't see the shape of the ears of the black cat you saw, but the shape of the tail, body and head look like those of a large domestic cat, rather than a lynx or bobcat.

All the best

Jonathan

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Original Photo
Original Photo  

Original Photo
Original Photo  
QUESTION: Could it be a black ferrel or wild maine coon cat?  It has ruff around neck and tuffs on tip of ears? Although it is larger than what I have read of the Maine Coon I know ferrel cats are become larger.  Also as I can only post two pictures at a time I can not show other photos showing the width of tail.  BTW THANKS for prompt and informative information...I think it may lead to a positive ID.

Answer
Dear Mark

Thank you for your kind comments, follow-up information and photos. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

I saw a black and white cat yesterday that was the same shape as the cat you saw. I did a Google Images search using large black feral cat and some of the cats lok very similar to the cat you sw. I think you saw a feral cat. http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/51063375 shows a Bombay cat.http://pictures-of-cats.org/maine-coon-cats.html shows a black Maine coon cat, although I think the cat you saw looks more like the photo of the Bombay cat, but I can't give a definitive answer as to the exact breed, especially as the cat you saw may be a cross-breed.

All the best

Jonathan  

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Jonathan Wright

Expertise

I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.

Experience

I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

Organizations
WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Publications
Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

Education/Credentials
BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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