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Press Release: Alley Cat Rescue Announces New African Wildcat Project

Photo by Daniele Colombo, courtesy Alley Cat Rescue

September 20, 2021

CONTACT: DEBBIE HOLZER  818-927-4130 / [email protected]

Mt. Rainier, MD (September 20, 2021) – Alley Cat Rescue, Inc. (ACR) is commencing a project to map African wildcat (Felis lybica) sightings throughout Africa and surrounding countries. The African Wildcat Project will collect data from individuals visiting and living in these areas via ACR’s Facebook group ( and online report form. Those reporting sightings will provide details including the sighting date, location, and notable physical characteristics of the wildcats.

The goal of the African Wildcat Project is to create a visual representation of AWC distribution that will aid ACR and other conservationist groups in monitoring the species’ population, which has been labeled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as in decline. AWC’s are becoming rarer due in part to habitat loss and hunting, but the most significant threat to the survival of their species in hybridization through breeding with free-roaming domestic cats.

Photo by Alexander Sliwa, courtesy Alley Cat Rescue
Photo by Alexander Sliwa, courtesy Alley Cat Rescue

Alley Cat Rescue has been involved with preserving the AWC South African subspecies, Felis l. cafra, for many years. Through their African Wildcat Conservation Action Plan, which was founded and has been funded to date mainly through grants from the Ayers Wild Cat Conservation Trust, ACR works with South African organizations, game rangers, and resorts and lodges to implement focused trap-neuter-return (TNR) efforts for domestic cats living along game preserve borders, thereby maintaining populations of genetically pure African wildcats in the region.

ACR President, Louise Holton, is passionate about this iconic species. “We need to preserve this beautiful small wildcat as she has given us our amazing housecats that have given people so much companionship over a long period of time —living with a small tiger in your home!” says Holton. “Cats make great companions but we do need to control their numbers, using humane nonlethal methods, which work more effectively than killing.”

To date, ACR has TNR’d close to 3,000 domestic cats in towns bordering Kruger National Park.

The African Wildcat Project expands ACR’s focus efforts geographically from South Africa to any territory Felis lybica inhabits. Crowd-sourced data on AWC sightings is a novel venture made possible by the popularity of social media. Alley Cat Rescue encourages anyone who has personally seen an AWC to report the sighting to them via their Facebook page or survey at

Photo courtesy Alley Cat Rescue

For more information about African Wildcats and ACR’s conservation projects, visit


Alley Cat Rescue is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of all cats: domestic, stray, abandoned, and feral. ACR advocates for humane nonlethal control of feral cats. For more information, visit their website

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I subscribe to a variety of reading lists to constantly further my knowledge of health and welfare for cats and other pets, domestic animals and wildlife. I occasionally publish press releases I think my readers will appreciate, and I share them by choice with no compensation. When I am occasionally compensated for a post I clearly note that is a “sponsored post”.

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2 thoughts on “Press Release: Alley Cat Rescue Announces New African Wildcat Project

  • How cool that there are African Wildcats.
    Mum and I were not aware that there was such a cat. Good to see they are working to help preserve this spscies!!
    Purrs, Julie

    • They look so much like domestic cats it’s hard to tell, but when you see them in action it’s pretty clear. I’m glad they’re being preserved too!


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