Domestic Cat (Felis catus)

Order: Carnivora, Family: Felidae

Appearance/Behavior:  The domestic cat is a medium-sized visitor to the compost piles.  A relatively round face without a well-developed snout (blue arrow), long legs (red arrow), and elongate tail are characteristic.  The fur coloration is rather variable.   Cats encountered in this study are likely free-roaming pets of people neighboring the study site.  They are occasionally present with other animals in the pile vicinity (e.g., gray fox, raccoon, opossum)

Relative Frequency of Visitation in Study:  A regular visitor.

Seasonal Activity: Year-round.

Daily Activity:  Primarily nocturnal with some diurnal encounters.

Similar Species:  A gray, long-haired cat might be confused with an opossum.  A black and white cat might be confused with a skunk.  However, in both cases, the cat would have a rounder face and longer legs.  The bobcat, a native felid, is a rare visitor to the compost piles.  It has rusty brown fur with darker spotting, and a tail tipped with black above and white below.  Its ears are tipped in fringed and have a white patch on their rear.  The bobcat’s legs are proportionately longer than those of the domestic cat.

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