Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is a HarbourCat?
Well we have scoured the biological and taxanomical literature and found a description for you:
The HarbourCat (Felis portus) is a North American mammal of the cat family Felidae, first appearing in the Victoria area of British Columbia during the Non-Baseballian era of 2011-2012. It is a unique species, found predominantly in the Pacific Northwest region of Canada and the United States, including the southern portions of the Province of British Columbia and the States of Washington and Oregon. It is a migrational species, with members of its colony spending summers in the Pacific Northwest, but then dispersing to different parts of Canada and the U.S. during the fall, winter and spring seasons.
The HarbourCat is an adaptable predator that inhabits the coastal, forest and urban ecosystems of Victoria and Vancouver Island, but is equally at home in the interior mountains and rangelands of British Columbia, Washington State and Oregon. It persists in much of its original range and populations are healthy.
With a gray or white coat, whiskered face, dark navy blue-tufted ears and deep aqua blue markings on its nose, the HarbourCat resembles many other species of the Felidae family including the Puma, Lynx, Cougar, Bobcat, Jaguar, Panther and Leopard, but its distinct colours and markings make it a unique member among all the world’s cat families.
HarbourCats tend to have lithe and flexible bodies with muscular limbs. They are fleet of foot when running and quick, agile and powerful when confronted or eluding attack from enemies. HarbourCats typically range in height from 5’5” to 6’6” and can weigh anywhere from 150-250 pounds depending on age and maturity. The largest known species was observed briefly in Victoria in 2016 and reached 6'8" in height.
Though the HarbourCat tends to prefer a diet of sunflower seeds and peanut butter and jam sandwiches, it also feeds regularly on a variety of apple known as a Pippin, dill Pickles, Sweet onions, a confection known as a Nanaimo Bar and a somewhat new and tasty delicacy called a NorthPaw, found only in the central interior portion of BC. It will hunt anything from Bells, Knights, AppleSox and Falcons to the rare, left-handed Marmot found near the Port Angeles area of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and the NightOwl found in the Nanaimo area of Vancouver Island. It has even been known, at times, to prey on Elks in Oregon and Black Bears and Raptors, particularly in the southwest portion of Washington State. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, time of the summer, and abundance.
Like most cats, the HarbourCat is territorial and will do everything it can to defend its home turf, particularly in the southern portion of Vancouver Island where it is concentrated in the summer months. It uses several methods to mark its territorial boundaries, including spitting out the hulls of sunflower seeds and marking the ground with their metal-like claws.
Although many members of the cat family have been hunted extensively, both for sport and fur, the HarbourCat is actually deeply revered, with many humans often dressing as a HarbourCat and congregating en masse in some sort of religious ritual to catch a glimpse of the rare cat in its summer territory.