Chinese Mountain Cat Is Fully Wild Despite Its Cuddly Appearance, DNA Shows - Gizmodo
Jun 23, 2021 48 secs
In the case of the Chinese mountain cat, the researchers wrote, the aggressive spread of free-ranging feral cats means the species could hybridize, as domestic cats did with European wildcats.

“This contemporary genetic interaction between wildcats and domestic cats raises the prospect of disrupted wildcat genetic integrity, an issue with profound conservation implications,” study co-author Shu-Jin Luo, a conservation biologist at Peking University in China, said in an email.

The team reported observations of cats that were seemingly the product of domestic kitties and wildcats in Northwest China.

There has been some debate as to whether cats originated in one place or had multiple domestication events; this team of researchers found no genetic difference between domestic cats from China and those from other parts of the world, suggesting they all arose from the same source.

All 27 mountain cat specimens included in the study were either from specimens or actual wild animals, and they were compared with four Asiatic wildcats and nearly 250 domestic cats.

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