roly poly's picture

Footprints in garden of remote property,no domestic cat kept

Observed: 29th January 2013 By: roly polyroly poly’s reputation in Mammalsroly poly’s reputation in Mammals
Species interactions

No interactions present.


Landbridge's picture

I would concur with cat but...

I would concur with cat but the prints seem large to me. Even if the overal diameter increases via melt, the the distance between the centre of the pads should not alter appreciably. Here, using the ruler in the photograph, the measurements between the centres of the first and fourth pad seems to be approximately 2 1/4 inches(= 5.5 cm.) This seems an awfully large moggy to me.

the naturalist man's picture

Malton Big Cat

It's the Malton big cat! Sightings keep appearing every so often in the local Gazette and Herald.

No, sorry you have not found the first evidence on iSpot of a big cat in Britain.

At first sight the print appears to have no claws, therefore cat. However, if you blow it up you can see each toe pad ends in a slight point and there is little evidence of a hind pad mark. The lack of a hind pad indicates the animal was running, therefore, the claw marks are likely to be obscured by the toe pads pushing forwards with the weight of the animal. There is also a faint hint of a triangular hind pad.

This is a dog running I'm afraid.

Your excellent forethought of including a tape measure helped because it would be large for a cat, even a large feral tom.

To top it off, cats run, and walk, - usually - with each paw one behind the other, not parallel, that is a dog gait, or at least a broad-bodied dog like a sheep dog or some such. My whippet lurcher is narrow-bodied and walks like a cat, but then he's strange anyway!

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

the naturalist man's picture

Ignore above!

Ignore all of the above! I've just seen your other observation ( which includes a photo of the gait. This is clearly a cat leaping/jumping/hopping through the snow, probably worried about getting it's dainty feet cold.

The claw marks are due to it having them slightly extended for balance, and the rest is due to distortion by the gait and the snow.

Ooops! Shows how important seeing the gait is when identifying prints. The large size is due to snow melt, would still be within size range for a large tom.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'