The following are cat-related excerpts from natural history texts.


This section is mainly interesting because several breeds are described as though species, complete with Latin names.

1758. Felis catus, Linnaeus, Syst. Nat., 10 ed., 1, p. 42 (Sweden); Pocock, Proc. Zool. Soc. '907, p. 149, PI. VIII; id. Mendel. Journ. 1911, p. 16; Miller, Cat. Mamm. West. Europe, p. 457, 1912 (sensu stricto).
1777. Felis catus domesticus (Sweden), hispanicus (Spain), caeruleus (Europe and Siberia), Erxleben, Syst. Regni Anim., pp. 520-2.
1788. Felis catus angorensis (S) (Persia and Angora), ruber (Cape of Good Hope), Gmelin, Syst. Nat. 1, pp. 80, 81.
1792. Felis catus sinensis (China), aureus (New Spain), madagascariensis (Madagascar), Kerr, Anim. King., pp. 154, 155.
1800. Felis catus longiceps (New Spain), striatus Bechstein, Uebers. 4-fuss. Thiere, 2, p. 678.
1826. Felis torquata, F. Cuvier, Hist. Nat. Mamm., PI. 126 (Nepal). 1829. Felis domestica vulgaris, antiquorum (Abyssinia), tralatitia (Japan), japonica (Japan), syriaca (Syria), Fischer, Syn. Mamm., pp. 207, 20S.
1836. Felis pulchella (Egypt) and inconspicua (Nepal), Gray, Mag. Nat. Hist., (N.S.) 1, p. 577 (Nepal). 1839. Felis megahtis, Miiller, Verh. Nat. Ges. Nederl. Zool., p. 54 (Timor).
1844. Felis cumana (Venezuela or Trinidad) brevicaudata (Japan), Schinz, Syn. Mamm. I, pp. 452 and 455.
1846. Felis huttoni, Blyth, Journ. As. Soc. Beng., 15, p. 169 (Kandahar). 1883. Felis bouvieri, Rochebrune, Actes Soc. Linn. Bord. (4), 7, p. 126 (Cape Verde).
1904. Felis libyca siamensis, Trouessart, Cat. Mamm., Suppl., p. 273 (Siam).
1904. Felis daemon, Satunin, Proc. Zool. Soc, 1904, pt. 2, p. 162 (Elizabetpol, south of the Caucasus). 1906. Felis ocreata agrius, Bate, Proc. Zool. Soc, p. 317 (Crete).

Notes on Synonymy.- — The names Felts catus, domesticus, vulgaris and striatus were given to domestic cats of the "blotched tabby" type with spiral pattern on the flanks; hispanicus to a "tortoise-shell" phase supposed to have come from Spain. Felis caeruleus is the name for a blue-grey phase from Europe and Siberia; ruber, a red phase from the Cape of Good Hope, and sinensis, a black and yellow phase with pendulous ears from China. Both the names aureus and longiceps were given to domestic cats of a reddish-yellow type with long heads and sharp snouts from New Spain and cumana to a specimen of the striped tabby type from Venezuela or Trinidad. Felis madagascariensis is the name for a domestic breed with twisted tail said to have come from Madagascar, but doubtless imported from Malaya, where the malformation is not uncommon. Both Felis torquata and inconspicua were given to feral cats of the transverse "striped tabby" type from Nepal; obscura stands for a blackish phase from South Africa, while antiquorum is the name for a grey-coloured animal from Abyssinia. Felis tralatitia, japonica and brevicaudata are names for Japanese cats, the first black and white or piebald, and the other two black and white animals with stunted tails. Felis megalotis and huttoni are names for feral "striped tabbies" from Timor and Khandahar, and agrius for a similarly coloured cat from Crete. Felis siamensis is a fawn and black cat from Siam, and daemon, a black feral cat obtained at Elizabetpol south of the Caucasus.

Colour. — The pattern, known as "tabby", is dimorphic. In the typical form, described by Linnaeus as catus and sometimes called the "blotched tabby", the body-pattern behind the shoulders consists of broad stripes which on the sides usually exhibit a looped or "spiral" arrangement and three dorsal stripes running to the root of the tail are usually distinguishable. In the second type, referred to as torquata and known as the "striped tabby", the pattern on the sides of the body behind the shoulders consists of narrower stripes transversely or vertically arranged, but commonly showing a tendency to break up into shorter stripes or spots posteriorly; and the spinal area seldom has three well-marked black stripes, but is blackish with ill-defined edges and shows at most traces of spots or lines.

The two pattern-phases above described are individually variable to a certain extent; but one or the other can be detected in a majority of skins at all events of European domestic cats, although the stripes on the body may be entirely suppressed in the torquata-phase, which is less stable than the catus-phase. [Footnote: Of these two pattern-phases that of torquata, closely resembling the patterns of the two wild species cited above, is no doubt the original. The pattern of catus is unique in the family and its source is unknown. On the whole, it seems probable that it arose abruptly and fully developed as a mutant "freak" or "sport" from the other. The two cats freely interbreed and kittens with the two patterns commonly occur in the same litter; but the patterns always remain true to type and never blend. A similar case apparently of pattern dimorphism has occurred in the Rhodesian Cheetah {Acinonyx jubatus jubatus), which is normally covered with small, close-set solid spots. But comparatively recently in that country has appeared a cheetah, described as Acinonyx rex, in which the pattern consists of large black blotches and broad, longer or shorter stripes. ]

The prevalent ground colour of the upper side is clear, darkish grey due to black and white speckling of the contour hairs; but the pale area of these hairs may be pale buff or even pale brown, giving a generally darker tone to the pelage. Numbers of tame cats, moreover, are affected by melanism, erythrism, and albinism. The face, paws and chest are particularly liable to albinism; but this defect of pigment may occur in big patches elsewhere in combination with the normal grey tabby hue or with red or with black. Some skins are a mixture of the three colours; and a mixture of black and red, without white, gives rise to the true "tortoiseshell", 99 per cent of which are females.

A peculiar blend of black and white results in a diluted black or slate-grey tint commonly called "blue"; and wholly black or red cats are common, the latter being perhaps invariably males, the pattern, when retained, being deeper red than the ground colour; but in red cats of the torquata-type the body pattern may be altogether suppressed. Red with black stripes and white with dark brown stripes, like normal and semi-albino tigers respectively, are unknown varieties in domestic cats. In wholly white cats, which typically have blue eyes and are uncommon, the pattern can usually be detected under reflected light. So far as colour is concerned the breed long ago established in Siam is quite peculiar in turning from white to nearly black as age advances. The kittens are white, or nearly so, with blue eyes. The eyes usually remain blue throughout life, but the hair becomes darker with age, passing from cream to pale fawn and pale brown on the body and deep brown to blackish on the extremities, the adult being pale brown on the body with the head, ears, limbs and tail blackish.

Another breed with stabilised coloration, known as the chaus-type, is not uncommon in India, and is referred to in some detail below (p. 13); and there are two admitted breeds characterised by the abbreviation of the tail. One of these, in which that organ is reduced to about the length of the hind toot and is frequently "kinked" or bent, is common in Malaya, whence it was many years ago introduced into Madagascar. The other is the so-called "Manx" breed, in which the tail is at most a mere stump, about one inch long. The evidence that this breed arose in the Isle of Man is quite inconclusive. It occurs, but not commonly, in London, where it varies in colour and as a rule exhibits the pattern of torquata.

Domestic cats have been carried by their owners from one part of the world to another and occur in all the continents. In some places, moreover, they have run wild and established themselves as obtrusive elements in the fauna. In Europe, Africa and the greater part of Asia where Felis is indigenous, it is possible, perhaps probable, that these feral cats interbreed with wild species of the genus, particularly their supposed ancestral forms, F. silvestris and F. lybica. But there seems to be no evidence that such a cross has ever been detected in the case of the species mentioned or in the case of the less closely related species F. margarita, F. chaus and others. In America, where the cats are generically distinct from Felis, the occurrence of hybrids is very unlikely; and in countries like Madagascar and Australasia, where indigenous species of Felidae do not occur, crossing is out of the question. This gives special interest to the feral cats of such places as Timor, Celebes, Queensland, and Tasmania, which are likely enough to become differentiated and stabilised as distinguishable forms as well worth studying, it not naming, as the subspecies of other mammals. To further this end, the following notes on the skins and skulls of most of the feral representatives of F. catus in the British Museum have been compiled.


The different varieties of house-cats to be seen in London and other English towns need no description, since they were dealt with in some detail in my paper quoted above. No doubt the same kinds occur in continental Europe, but only one presumably feral skin is available, an example of the torquata-type from Hungary.

There is also only one English feral cat's skin (7.2.1 6.1). This, however, is of exceptional interest. It was captured as a kitten in the New Forest and surprisingly recalls the British Wild Cat (F. silvestris), more so than any feral cat examined, in the texture of the coat, which is 40 mm. long on the flank, 45 mm. on the spinal area and in the general colour and pattern, especially the presence of the two strong stripes on the shoulders, a very pronounced feature in most skins of the wild species. It differs, however, in lacking the fullness of the tail of the latter, in having that organ invaded by black above and the head blacker, with the pattern less pronounced. If it had come from Scotland I should without hesitation have regarded it as a hybrid house-cat and F. silvestris grampia. But since it was presented to the Museum as a very old animal in 1907, it was probably born in 1890, or thereabouts, when there were certainly no true wild cats in the South of England.

An undated skin (Rothschild Bequest, 39.1661) from "above Luchon" in the Pyrenees probably has the same history as the two examples of F. silvestris silvestris described below (p. 31). It differs in several respects from them. The coat, although tolerably full and soft, is much shorter, the hairs on the spine, flanks and tail being only about 35, 23 and 25 mm. respectively. The ground colour above is nearly the same, namely grey, showing buff patches when the coat is disturbed, and the lower side is buff; but the pattern is different, being indistinct on the nape, absent on the shoulders, black on the spine where the stripe is indistinctly double, and on the flanks and legs strong and black; and on the tail, which is narrow and attenuated towards the tip, the stripes, nine or ten in number, extend to the base, those on the distal half of the organ being confluent above, making it black in the middle line. If caught within the geographical range of F. lybica (see below, p. 50), this cat might have been regarded as representing a race of that species; but it is no doubt a feral house-cat of the torquata-type. A second specimen (39.1664) in the same collection, which has no history, is tolerably similar and may have come from the same place. This I also consider to be F. catus.

The Hungarian skin mentioned above (1143.1) was labelled "wild cat, Felts catus", the technical name being the one then applied to the typical European wild cat now known as F. silvestris. It is unquestionably a feral domestic cat with the ground colour and strongly marked pattern of the torquata- type. The coat is short, with the hairs on the flanks 30 mm. and on the crest 42 mm., the wool on the- flanks is greyish buff at the summit, on the spinal area greyish brown; the backs of the cars are brown, contrasted with the grey head, but blackish at the tips and pencilled; the underside is greyish ochreous, the backs of the thighs are richer ochreous and the hind foot is black to the hocks behind. In the brighter tint of the ears, of the wool and of the upper part of the backs of the thighs, this skin differs from skins of typical English house-cats of the torquata-type and approaches the North African wild cat F. lybica sarda.

The Cretan cat, agrius, was described by Miss Bate in 1906 as representing a race of the North African wild cat. In 1907 I stated that it was a feral house-cat; but in 1912 Miller gave it full specific rank as a wild cat related to the Sardinian form, and in 1930 Schwarz reverted to Miss Bate's opinion. The type (5. 12.2. 15) has the coat 26 and 34 mm. and resembles the feral skin from Hungary in the colour of the ears and nearly in the tint of the wool; but it is paler, clearer grey above, a good deal paler below from the throat backwards, has a whiter face, the pattern less strongly emphasised and less spotty on the hinder part of the body and the hind foot not so black behind in its upper part. But it comes nearest to the feral Tunisian cat described below (p. 15), so near, indeed, as to be describable as a duplicate of it. It also closely resembles several of the skins referred to below as feral house-cats, namely one from Gangootra, North India, and one from New Mexico, the latter differing principally in having the ears apparently dark grey. Quite clearly the evidence is opposed to the conclusion that the type of agrius, carrying the name, represents a race of the North African wild cat.

It is of interest to note that although typical catus, with the bold blotched pattern, is as common a house-cat as any in England, it is very scarce as a feral form, at all events outside Europe. Out of the large number of feral cats in the British Museum, three only belong to this type, namely one from Meshed, in Persia, and two from different localities in Queensland. According to Blyth it was unknown in India in his time, and none was secured by the collectors for the Bombay Survey of the Mammal Fauna of British India. But in 1938 Col. R. Meinertzhagen secured one in very wild country at Doab, in the Hindu Rush. A great majority of the feral cats, at all events of Asia, Africa and Australia, are either typical torquata or red, black, parti-coloured or other mutants of that type.


Arabia. — An adult $ (95. 6.1. 61) trapped in the bazaar in Aden by Colonel Yerbury, 18 February, was regarded by him as a domestic cat, but was quoted as Felts maniculata by Thomas (Proc. Zool. Soc, 1895, p. 507). Yerbury's opinion was, I think, correct. The coat, although at its best according to the date, is harsh, thin, with very little wool, and short, the hairs of the flanks being about 20 mm. and of the crest 30 mm., very different from the soft full coat of genuinely wild specimens; the general colour is greyish brown and the deeper brown pattern is fairly well defined, the black of the spinal area breaking up into longitudinal stripes; the black of the hind foot is restricted to its lower part. [. . .] The other specimen (99. 1 1 .6.33), shot in desert scrub by Percival and Dodson at Lahej, near Aden, August 27, was regarded as a genuine wild cat and identified by Thomas as F. maniculata (Proc. Zool. Soc, 1900, p. 100). But since it has a coat similar to the last, although even thinner in accordance with the date, I regard it as a feral tame cat. It differs from the Aden specimen in colour, being pale sandy grey with fainter pattern, suggesting faded summer coat [Pocock gives anatomical measurements] it may be a half-bred specimen.

Persia. — Three strikingly different skins. An adult female from Meshed (Sykes, 13.4.2. 1) is a handsome, full-coated example of the blotched tabby (catus), a rare feral type, differing entirely from two skins of the wild cat of Meshed which are assigned to F. lybica caudata (see below, p. 126). An adult male from Seistan ( might be mistaken for a wild cat, since it is only a little darker than the two skins from Meshed just mentioned; but its coat is much thinner and shorter, its pattern is stronger everywhere, especially on the shoulders, limbs and lower side, and its skull and teeth are a little smaller. It is possibly of mixed breed. A second from Seistan (8.1. 13. 4) is nearly uniformly fawn-coloured above with the spinal crest and back of the ears red, the pattern absent on the body and head, obscure on the outer sides of the limbs, strong and black only on the end of the tail. This skin recalls F. chaus in several respects, and although it has a long tail it may be a hybrid between that species and a feral house-cat.

Djarkent, in Semiryechensk, East Turkestan. A young adult male skin (14.5. 10.60), October, killed by Ruckbeil, with two examples of F. lybica caudata (see below, p. 125) differs from them in its less luxuriant coat, dark grey ground colour above, black ears, blackish head, conspicuous black spinal band on the hind back and loins, and heavy black body-pattern, consisting of stripes on the neck and large scattered black spots on the flanks and below and strong bands on the legs. The wool, moreover, is dark grey on the flanks, black on the spinal area. The skull and teeth are also smaller than in the wild cat of the district. It may be a mongrel between the latter and a feral house-cat, but in its general colour and style of pattern, it closely resembles the skin of a London cat I figured in 1907 (pi. 9, fig. 3), except that the latter is largely albino on the limbs and below.

Kandahar. — An imperfect skin ( of the torquata-type with unusually luxuriant coat, 30 and 36 mm. long, the flanks speckled greyish-white and fuscous, the spinal area huff and black, the wool dull huff on the flanks, a little darker on the crest and turning deep grey on the shoulders; the pattern brown and obscure. This skin is a topotype of F. huttoni, Blyth.

Tibet. — A single skin (Hodgson, is patched red and white, the red showing faint torquata-pattern.

India.— A large series of skins shows that domestic cats have run wild practically all over the country, and in some places have established themselves definitely as wild forms. There are three main phases: typical grey torquata in various shades; red mutants of torquata; and the chaus-type. The dominant form is the grey torquata. According to Colonel Ward, who regarded it as a valid species, this is abundant in Kashmir, is quite unmistakable, and appears to have established itself and to breed tolerably true to type. The only skin in the Museum from that country came from Srinagar (O. B. St. John, and is a little abnormal in colour, being dull grey with hardly any black and white speckling in the pelage.

From Gopalpur, Kangra (Wells, 44.1-2) there are two skins, one from 5,000 ft. is brownish grey and very closely matches the skin from Kandahar; the other, 4,500 ft., is clearer grey; both are creamy buff below.

A darkish grey skin from Nepal (Hodgson, is a topotype of torquata and agrees closely with Cuvier's description; and the type of inconspicua, Gray, probably from Nepal, belongs to the same kind, but has the pattern less distinct. A skin from Gangotri (118 a), labelled inconspicua by Gray, is tolerably similar.

From south of the Himalayas is a skin from Sambhar, Rajputana (Adam,, which is like the greyer of the two Kangra skins. Two from Kathiawar, 200 ft. (Crump, 44.3-4), differ a good deal individually. One (44.3) decidedly brownish grey, with brown pattern, is like the darker of the two skins from Kangra, except that the pattern is better defined owing to the much shorter coat, but the lower side from behind the white chin is buff. The other (44.4) is dark, blackish grey, with black pattern and greyish under side. From Kolar Town, East Mysore, 2,786 to 4,026 ft. (Shortridge,, there are four very short-coated specimens, in three of which the pattern is brownish and rather faint, and the ground colour greyish with very little black speckling, the underside being whitish; but in the fourth the pattern is blacker and stronger. The number of specimens procured at this place suggests that the cat has established itself as a wild form. A skin from Halery, Coorg (Shortridge, 44.10), is clear grey with blackish pattern very like the skin from Sambhar.

In the red mutants of torquata, which are darker on the spinal area than on the flanks, the pattern is retained at least on the legs, unless they are white, and on the end of the tail, but may be altogether suppressed on the body, and the underside is always white. One from Sikkim (Hodgson, has the pattern suppressed on the upper side of the body and faint on the legs and tail. One from Kumaun (Stevens, 44.15) has the body-pattern represented by very small spots on the flanks. One from Philibhit, Rohilkund, 800 ft. (Crump, 44-14). 7 February, has the ground colour pale red on the back, whitish on the flanks and the pattern distinct. One from the United Provinces (St. G. Burke, 27.2. 14. 1 2) is deeper red than the last, with the normal torquata-pattem strongly pronounced. One from Sukkur, Sind (Prater, 44.13), March 24, has the coat longer and thinner than in the skin from Philibhit, and the ground colour whiter and throwing into greater relief the pattern which is red on the hinder part but brown on the shoulders, nape and head. This skin seems well adapted by colour to its desert environment. One from Sehore, in Bhopal, 1,700 ft. (Captain Whitehead, 9.6. 10. 12), has the pattern very faint, and one from Mogul Serai, United Provinces (Stewart Betton, resembles it in that respect, but has white fore legs, hind feet, and a median white band on the lumbar region, a very unusual place for an isolated white patch to occur. A specimen brought from Bombay (H. C. Brooke, 44.20) is much deeper red than any of the preceding and has no pattern on the body.

Another mutant of torquata, called the "chaus-type" by Blyth, occurs sporadically at least in northern India. The pattern persists only on the base of the limbs, the end of the tail and the ventral surface, and may be strong or weak; the general colour of the body is grey or greyish due to close speckling of the hairs with black and whitish or buff, with the spinal area considerably darker and the underside white; the ears are dark brownish grey or rusty ochreous. Blyth believed this cat, which has not been recorded wild in any countries but India and Burma, to result from the crossing of house-cats with Felis chaus. But the skull and the tail are as in Felis catus and the spinal crest is not developed as in F. chaus.

A couple of specimens in the collection (Zool. Soc,, and Blyth, 66.1 1. 20.1) are labelled "Domesticated Cat of India". Two feral specimens may be selected for description to illustrate individual variation in the breed. One from Dening, in the Mishmi Hills, 2,250 ft. (Wells,, is darker, more buff-grey with reddish ears and the pattern on the limbs, tail and under side strongly pronounced. The other from Hasimara, Bhutan Duars, 600 ft. (Baptista,, is clearer grey, with dark grey ears and the pattern absent on the tail and nearly suppressed on the outer side of the limbs and on the belly. A third from Nimiaghat, Hazaribagh (Crump,, is nearly intermediate in the distinctness of the pattern, and has the ears as in the skin from Bhutan Duars.

Ceylon. — The feral occurrence of typical torquata in the island is attested by a skin from Ambawela, collected by E. W. Mayor (44.27 a), who also shot a black specimen at Yatiyantota, 500 ft. (44.22).

Burma. — The feral cats are similar to those found in India, as attested in particular by one of the chaus-type secured by Mackenzie (44.7) at Toungoo, 500 ft., which is slightly buffy grey with stripes on the insides of the legs, on the end of the tail and, very obscurely defined, on the head. Also at Toungoo, but at a lower level of 100 ft., the same collector shot two red examples of torquata (44.8.12), one with the pattern very faint, and a typical grey torquata (44.6), with white legs, labelled "domestic cat". A specimen from Maymyo, 3,500 ft. (Shortridge, 44.11), is a clear grey torquata with very faint pattern and the paws and underside white; and one from Paunggaung, North Shan States (Shortridge, 44.9), is a faintly striped brown torquata. The same collector trapped at Victoria Point, Tenasserim, a dark greyish brown specimen (44.16) without pattern, but with white on the paws, throat and chest, and with a very short tail about equalling the hind foot in length, representing a breed unknown in India, but common in Malaya. A note on its label states that "an enormous percentage of cats in the east Indies have stunted tails".

Of the unmistakable Siamese breed, of which no feral examples seem to have been recorded, enough has already been said; and the traditionally alleged Chinese breed, with pendulous ears, is known to me only from the original description.

Philippine Islands. — A female of the torquata-lype shot wild by J. White- head in North Luzon is interesting from having the bright tinted ears, wool and genital area occurring as in the skin from Tunis, and in the type of agrius. It differs principally from those two skins in being sandy grey instead of ashy grey above, and in having the lateral stripes more broken into spots. In its general colour above it differs from most normally coloured skins with the torquata pattern from the Oriental Region, coming nearest to one from Bonthain Peak, Celebes. It was discussed at some length by Thomas (Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6), 18, p. 245, 1896), who correctly identified it as a feral F. domestica; but it is not quite like the specimen from Celebes, nor does it resemble F. chain, as he stated.

Malav Archipelago. — A black skin (C. Darwin, 68.2. 19. 1 18), with white on the face, feet and chest, has a short tail hooked at the end apparently resembling in this respect the type of madagascariensis.

Timor. — Three skins (Frost, 40.377-379) from Amarassie, are topotypes of F. megalotis and are typical examples of dark grey torquata, with blackish grey ears. On account of its record by Meyer from an island to the east of Wallace's line, the locality of this cat was disputed by Elliot and, following him, by Wallace, and tacitly ignored by Mivart. But the arrival in Holland of additional specimens from Timor induced Jentink to uphold the species as valid (Notes Leyd. Mus. 13, p. 219, 1891). None of these authors seems to have been acquainted with the common striped tabby house-cat of Europe.

Celebes. — A skin from Macassar (Wallace, is dark greyish brown above, darker on the shoulders, nape and head, and buff below, with the pattern everywhere distinct. Of two skins from the same locality (Frost, one is very similar to the foregoing, but the other is grey with black pattern. One from Rantekaroa, Quarles Range, 6,600 ft. (Frost, 40.376), is dark grey with obscure pattern; another from Tamalanta, 3,300 ft. (Frost, 40.384), is brown on the back, grey on the flanks and legs, with the pattern strong; and one from Bonthain Peak, 6,800 ft. (Everett,, is of the brown type, resembling two of the Macassar skins. These skins from Celebes are on the average browner than those from Timor.

Australia. — A specimen from the Annan River, Cooktown, (Jueensland (Sherrin, and one from Rollingstone, 23 miles north of Townsville, North Queensland (Wilkins, have the bold pattern of typical catus. Judging from a note by Sherrin stating that he shot several of these cats near Cooktown because they ate the small mammals in his traps, it seems that the breed has established itself at least in that district. But a specimen from Mount Driven, South Central Queensland (Young, is a typical grey torquata with black pattern and one from Tasmania (Gunn, 127 g) is of the same breed.


Tunis. — An adult $ (Sir Thomas Reade, so closely matches the type of agrius, the Cretan Cat, described above, that it is unnecessary to enumerate its external features. It apparently differs only in having the wool on the flanks and spinal area a shade less bright. In its ashy grey colour above and bold pattern everywhere it differs strikingly from the Tunisian wild cats described below as F. lybica sarda and F. lybica lybica. [. . . ] The small size of the skull and teeth confirms the conviction conveyed by the skin that this cat is a feral house-cat.

Egypt. — The cat from Egypt (165 a), described by Gray as F. pulchella, a name hitherto assigned to the synonymy of lybica or ocreata, must be regarded as a feral domestic cat of the torquata-style of pattern. The type is a small, now much faded, adult or subadult female with the flanks whitish, the crest, of which the hairs are 38 mm. long, banded brown and buff and the fore part from the shoulders to the head sandy buff; the ears are the same tint as the crown and the face is white with a faint patch in front of the eye, a red upper genal stripe; there are faint stripes on the crown and on the sides of the body, brown stripes on the limbs and a blackish bracelet; the fronts of the limbs and the lower surface from the chin backwards are white. The skull and teeth are too small for lybica, smaller indeed than in most females of F. catus, tame or feral. The skin of a kitten (165 b), with the same history, is soiled and faded, but seems to have been pale like the type.

Evidently very similar to the type of pulchella is an adult male cat collected at Ber Victoria, Wady Natron, Lower Egypt ( by N. C. Rothschild. It is red all over the upper side, white below, with the pattern of the torquata-type on the head, nape and body very faint, but stronger on the cheeks, legs and tail, with the soles of the feet buff, not black. [. . .]

Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. — The skin of a young adult $ (4.1 1.3. 13) from Meroe, on the Upper Nile, March 17, is regarded as a feral domestic cat because in its darker, greyish brown general colour, dark ears of nearly the same tint, closely matching the head, the dull tinted wool and thin short winter coat, only 23 and 31 mm. long, it differs from the sand-coloured skins regarded as typical F. lybica lybica from the Nile Valley. The pattern on the flanks is perceptible but faint, on the legs stronger and on the lower side black, thrown into relief by the whitish ground colour. [. . .]

The skin of an adult female ( 1 .5.5. 1 3) from Shendy, south of Meroe, February 23, differs strikingly in its colour and coat from the specimen from Shendy referred to Felis lybica lybica (p. 64). It closely resembles the skin from Meroe in its superficial colouring and thin winter coat, which is even shorter, only 18 and 31 mm. long; but it differs in having the wool on the flanks pale buff, on the spinal area ochreous, the pattern on the body more distinct and the black of the hind foot restricted to the area of the pads. [. . .] In all its dimensions the skull agrees very closely with those of the two tolerably similarly coloured but luxuriantly coated specimens from Nakheila on the Atbara and the Shabluka Hills, north of Omdurman, respectively, referred to below (p. 68) and left without subspecific name.

Captured at Shendy at the same time as the last, and confirming the view that the latter is a feral domestic cat, was a red kitten (1.5. 5. 14) very similar to the adult male from Wady Natron.

A young female specimen (1.8. 8. 21), about two-thirds grown, from Fashoda, is provisionally regarded as the kitten of a feral domestic cat because it is hardly distinguishable in coat, colour and pattern from the adult 2 from Shendy, described above.

Gold Coast. — The skin of a black variety showing no pattern (Armitage, 44.26).

Abyssinia. — A skin from Dangila representing the "domestic cat" of North-west Abyssinia (Cheesman, 44.27) is of the torquata-type, but bright red with very faint stripes on the body, a little stronger on the legs and strong on the tail, as in the skin from Wady Natron. It breeds true to type according to Cheesman.

Lado in the Sudan. — (Emin Pasha, 87. 12. 1.9) An immature skin of the torquata-type.

Somaliland. — A skin ( without skull, from Bulhar, has the coat very thin, short and harsh, and the pattern of the torquata-type stronglv pronounced.

Sokotra. — The feral domestic cat of this island was described by Ogilvie- Grant (Nat. Hist. Sokotra, etc., p. 6, 1901). From information supplied by natives he reported that it is subject to great variation in colour, some specimens being striped, some mostly black. There is no skin in the British Museum; but a skull, apparently of a young adult female (, is peculiar for the presence of a distinct but shallow concavity on the fore part of the frontals just behind the nasals. As shown by the table of measurements, the bullae are as large as in the above-described specimens from Meroe and Shendy. This is interesting because the wild cats of Sokotra are beyond all doubt the descendants of imported house-cats.

Kilimanjaro. — A black skin of an adult male (37.8. 18. 16) from the south-east slope of the mountain, 5,000 ft., shows no trace of pattern, and is regarded as a feral domestic cat on the evidence of its colour and skull. The skull, the largest of the African feral cats, is as large and well developed as those of the wild cats of Kenya and Tanganyika, but differs from them in its noticeably smaller bullae and teeth.

Portuguese East Africa. — An adult female from Inhambane (6.1 1.8.43) is of the torquata-type in colour and pattern, thus differing entirely from the wild cats of South Africa. Its skull, also, although imperfect, is considerably smaller. C. Grant, who collected this specimen, told me that in Inhambane he saw no examples of the typical South African wild cat (F. lybica cafra) with which he was well acquainted.

Machili River, North Rhodesia. — A skin, without skull, blotched grey and red, both colours showing typical torquata-pattem (Gordon Lancaster, b).

Zululand. — A skin (Grant, 44.25), shot in the forest at Sibudeni, 20 miles north-west of Eshowe, 3,500 ft., is patched white and grey, the grey showing typical torquata-pattem.

British Bechuanaland. — A black skin showing torquata-pattem (Pollard,

Great Karas Mountains, South-west Africa. — A red skin showing torquata-pattern (Shortridge, 44.24).

Madagascar. — A skin from Voluma ( and one from the Forest of Ankafana, east of Betsileo (Cowan, are of the torquata-type. These two skins differ from the type of madagascariensis in having tails of normal length.

America. — The only skin (Warwick, is an example of torquata, typical in colour and pattern, from the State of New Mexico; but in the first decade of this century Gibson exhibited at a meeting of the Zoological Society a similar skin from the Argentine as a specimen of the Pampas cat (Pajeros).


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