New Cat Breed Found – The Cat Fox

Cat Fox new breed of cat on CorsicaA new cat breed, called the ‘chat –renard’ or ‘Cat Fox’, has recently been found on the island of Corsica. The first one was caught in a chicken coop in 2008. After realizing that this cat was different from domestic cats, wildlife experts decided that they needed to research this mysterious feline more. Spotted again in 2012 and then again in 2016 by wildlife rangers, this elusive cat’s DNA was found to be close to Felis silvestris lybica. “By looking at its DNA, we could tell it apart from the European wildcat, Felis silvestris silvestris. It’s close to the African forest cat, Felis silvestris lybica, but its exact identity is still to be determined.”

Examining the Cat Fox on Corsica

 

Cat Fox of Corsica

Since then, researchers have identified 16 animals  that they believe are Cat Foxes. Twelve of them have been captured, examined, and released.

The Cat Fox is bigger than domestic cats and has a ringed tail with a black tip, measuring 90 centimeters (35 inches) head to tip compared with its domestic counterparts (76 centimeters). The cat’s features include wide set ears, short whiskers with long, canine-like teeth, and has a red-colored stomach.

Locals on the island call it ‘ghjattu volpe’, ‘chat-renard’, or simply ‘Cat Fox’.  Legend has it that this nocturnal cat might be responsible for attacks on goats. But there is no doubt that the mysterious creature has been prowling the French island for generations.

“We believe that it’s a wild natural species which was known but not scientifically identified because it’s an extremely inconspicuous animal with nocturnal habits,” ONCFS environmental technician, Pierre Benedetti said.

Corsican cat fox

 

Cat Fox

 

Want to know more about the cat in literature, art and history? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for  you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 

 

Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats

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