North Wales Police received information from the public and partner agencies concerning a man in the Conwy area who was believed to be keeping a European Protected Species without the required licence.
Following consultation with NatureScot and Natural Resources Wales, a search was conducted on February 14, 2022. The animal, reported to be a Scottish wildcat, was located and taken to an animal conservation facility to determine its identity.
An independent expert subsequently confirmed that contrary to the Wildcat Haven’s assertions, Finlay is in fact a domestic tabby cat.
Whilst at this facility, the domestic cat was regularly examined by Veterinary Surgeons, and throughout the time in the facility through to his return to Wildcat Haven, the domestic cat’s weight remained stable at the same level as when it was originally removed.
In addition, the following was also reported to us:
- Finlay had regular visits, consultation, and assessments from veterinary professionals
- All treatments were given under recommendation by vets
- Pre-transfer assessment was given
- There was no evidence of clinical disease
- Finlay displayed clear traits of domestic / pet cat behaviours
- Domestic Cats routinely shed hair especially before and during Spring / Summer (warmer months)
- No evidence this is stress related.
Overgrooming / hairballs:
- No evidence of overgrooming, rather typical grooming for a domestic cat that is shedding
- Domestic Cats commonly produce hairballs, especially when grooming
- Not unusual for hair in faeces especially during periods of shedding (Spring / Summer)
- No evidence that hair in faeces is indication of stress / boredom
- No evidence of “dangerously high levels” of hair ingestion
The facility reported that due to the original question over status (i.e. wildcat, hybrid, domestic), the domestic cat was kept in isolation, with 24-hour access to both indoor and outdoor areas, with plant cover, branches to climb, a small elevated hut, stumps, and shelves.
The force is aware of significant fundraising in relation to this domestic cat being a Scottish Wildcat. A 43-year-old man is currently assisting with enquiries and, as this investigation is still ongoing, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.