The ears are moderate in length, and broad at the base.The eyes are large, with vertical pupils, and yellowish-green irises.Its general colour is grizzled buff, with indistinct stripes and spots, and a pale brown lacrimal stripe.Its ears are reddish brown, and its tail is relatively long, with several rings and a brown tip.Its fur is generally lighter than that of silvestris, and is grayer in shade.The patterns on the head and the dorsal band are well developed, though the transverse bands and spots on the trunk are mostly faint or absent.However, crossbreeding of wildcats and domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) occurs in particular in Europe and is considered a potential threat for the preservation of the wild species.
The European wildcat is striped, has long fur and a bushy tail with a rounded tip, and is larger than a domestic cat. Genetic, morphological and archaeological evidence suggests that domestication of Old-World wildcats began approximately 7500 years BCE in the Fertile Crescent region of the Near East.
Also, like the African wildcat, the housecat's tail is usually thin, rather than thick and bushy like the European wildcat's.
Further evidence of an African origin for the housecat is present in the African wildcat's growth; like housecat kittens, African wildcat kittens undergo rapid physical development during the first two weeks of life.
The species size varies according to Bergmann's rule, with the largest specimens occurring in cool, northern areas of Europe (such as Scotland and Scandinavia) and of Middle Asia (such as Mongolia, Manchuria and Siberia).
Males measure 43 to 91 cm (17 to 36 in) in body length, 23 to 40 cm (9.1 to 15.7 in) in tail length, and normally weigh 5 to 8 kg (11 to 18 lb).