Photo Sreevathsa Duglapura
(vatsee@hotmail.com) -- Used by permission
Bobcat   (Lynx Rufus)


How big are bobcats?



What do bobcats look like?
 
 
Photo by: Ashok Khosla
(cc)Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0
A bobcat's ears are black on the back with large white spots.

Its ears are pointed with tufts of black hair at the tips.

The face has a ruff of fur that sticks out from its face and neck.

 
 
Bobcats get their name from their short ("bobbed") tails. Their tails are only about 6 inches long
(about the length of a brand-new pencil)!


Photo by: VJ Beauchamp
(cc)Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0
 
 
A bobcat's belly is white, but its other fur can be gray, yellow-brown, or reddish-brown in color. Bobcats have darker spots that help them camoflage.
 

Photo (C) Keith Johnson
Used with permission.

Photo by: Geekly
(cc)Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0

Photo by: cg 2006
(cc)Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0
 
Photo by: Marissa B.
(cc)Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0
Can you spot the bobcat in this picture?  

Where do bobcats live?
 

Mountains

Forests

Brushland

Deserts
  Bobcats live in southern Canada, all of the states in the United States of America except for Alaska and Hawaii,
and the northen half of Mexico.
 
  

What do bobcats eat?
 
 
Mice & Rats

Squirrels

Rabbits

Deer
Bobcats mostly eat small animals like rabbits, but they can kill and eat anything as small as a mouse and as big as a deer.  

What sounds do bobcats make?
 
Bobcats are usually quiet, but they can make most of the sounds a housecat makes.
They can purr, hiss, growl, yowl, mew, gurgle, and make wah-wah calls.
During mating season, they can be very noisy!
The noise they make - called "caterwauling" - can be heard a mile away!

Here are some links to sounds that a bobcat can make:

 
"Who?"

"Yow Yow"

3 Yowls

Angry Growl

Scream
 
 
Signs of Bobcats
 
 
You may never see a bobcat in the woods, but if you look closely,
you may spot signs that they've been around!


  Tracks

Cat tracks are shaped more like a circle.
Dog tracks are shaped more like an oval.

Dog tracks have claw marks;
cat tracks usually do not.

 
  If it's an adult bobcat, its tracks will be twice as big as those of a housecat!

If the tracks are more than 2 1/2 inches wide, it's probably a lynx or a mountain lion.
 
 
Photo (c)2006 Penny Crispin
Used with permission.
A bobcat paw print.
Click on the print to see more great pictures of bobcat tracks!

 
 
Scat and Scrapes

It may look and smell gross, but scat ("poo" or "doo-doo") is very important to a hunter, tracker, or scientist. It can tell you where an animal lives, what it has been eating, and how much it has been eating. Scrapes are the marks a bobcat or other cat will make nearby to draw attention to the scat. It tells other bobcats to "KEEP OUT!"


Check out these links:

SCAT and SCRAPE 1
SCAT and SCRAPE 2
SCAT and SCRAPE 3

Parting Shots
 

Bobcat skull
(c)2006 Bradford deCaussin
Used with permission.

Bored Bobcat at Bismark Zoo
(c)2006 Rich Leblang
Used with permission.

Bobcat on 45 foot high pole
(from widely circulated e-mail)

Bobcat jumping OFF the 45 foot high pole (apparently he was fine, and ran off after landing

SOURCES
 
  • Banfield, A. W. F. "Bobcat." Encyclopedia Americana. 2006. Grolier Online. 8 Aug. 2006 .
  • "bobcat." Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopaedia Brittanica Online. 8 Aug. 2006 .
  • "Bobcat Damage Control Techniques and Methods." Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management for Animal Damage Control. 08 May 2006. Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management. 8 Aug 2006 .
  • "Bobcat Identification." The Montana Trappers Association. The Montana Trappers Association. 9 Aug 2006 .
  • Letchworth, Beverly J.. "Bobcat Prowl." The Missouri Conservationist Online Vol. 66. No.8Aug 2005 8 Aug. 2006 .
  • "Wild Things Unlimited Forest Carnivore Identification Guide." Wild Things Unlimited Home Page Rare Carnivores. Wild Things Unlimited. 8 Aug 2006 .
  • "Wildlife in Connecticut Informational Series: Bobcat." Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Jan 2000. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. 8 Aug 2006 .
 

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Site last updated August 8, 2006

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