Interbreeding may have boosted wildcat immunity to domestic cat diseases, but now threatens their survival as a distinct species

Humans weren’t the only creatures to fall under the sway of free love in the 1960s. After 2,000 years of keeping one another at paw’s length, wildcats and their domestic cousins began to interbreed about 60 years ago, a new study suggests.

Doing so may have helped to protect their offspring against diseases harboured by domestic cats, but this interbreeding is now threatening the survival of wildcats as a distinct species.

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