Your article and leader on Scottish wildcats (25 July) are absolutely on the button – hybridisation with the feral cat “poses the biggest danger to the wildcat population”. The feral cat is the domestic cat that has become homeless and poor and has fallen back on its survival skills.
Why are there so many feral cats in Scotland (there are thousands upon thousands)? They flow from the thousands of unwanted domestic cats which are abandoned into the countryside each year.
Neutered and returned, feral cats can have a good life causing little or no harm until they die off naturally.
However, the flow of new cats from human activity continually replenishes the feral cat population.
How do we ensure the future of the wildcat in the wild and, by the same token, help the abandoned domestic and feral cats?
The responsibility is down to all of us to stop the excessive flow of domestic cats into the environment.
We need to change human behaviour on a large scale, in the short time that we have left.
For those people who love and want to keep cats, they can do so if they like – they would simply be required to keep a neutered cat. Happy endings all round.
(Dr) Elspeth Stirling