Although classically portrayed as a ferocious and terrifying beast to be feared and hated, wildcats simply enjoy their personal space, daily schedule and peace. A wildcat will only attack something it's hunting, or something that it feel is hunting it. When threatened their classic strategy is to turn on an aggressor hissing, growling and spitting furiously; just like a domestic cat their hackles raise and the back arches but rather than turn side on to try and look big, they mock charge like a big cat; stamping forwards at you hissing and spitting. The idea is to give you just enough doubt to give them an opportunity to escape. If given no other choice and in fear of its life, perhaps cornered or defending kittens, the cat will attack with all its fury.
Location: New Forest Wildlife Park
Photographer: B Williams