Bobcat                Lynx rufus

Type of Animal:

Forests, swamps, desert, suburban areas, mountainous areas, semi-desert, brushland, scrubland, woodlands, agricultural areas, edge of urban areas, chaparral, groves, woodland-grassland transition zone, forest transition zones, cliffs, canyons, sagebrush steppe, forest edge

S. Canada, much of continental U.S & northern & central Mexico

Coat usually tan to greyish-brown w/ black streaks on body & dark bars on forelegs & tail. Off-white color on lips/chin/underbelly, pinkish-red nose, gray, yellow, or brownish-red on face, short bobtail. Bobcats in Southwest have lightest color, bobcats in northernmost part of range darkest. Males larger than females.

Rabbits, hares, pikas, rodents up to size of beavers & porcupines, birds up to size of cranes, deer, domestic goats, domestic sheep, pigs, peccaries, skunks, raccoons, moles, fisher, mink, otters, weasels, fish up to size of small sharks, foxes, opossums, cats, smaller dogs, insects, carrion, bird eggs, elk calves, snakes, small gators, armadillos, young llamas/alpacas, lizards, tortoises, turtles, ocelots, centipedes

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers

Solitary, though sometimes seen in male-female pairs

Additional Info:


Male-14-40 lbs
Female-8.8-33.7 lbs
Young-3 lbs

2-3 months

Life Span:
12 years

Male-1.92 ft
Female-1.42 ft

Body Length:
Male-3.58 ft
Female-2.16 ft

Tail Length:
Male-7 in
Female-4 in

Main predators of adults are crocodilians, large snakes (Florida), coyotes, wolves, cougars, great horned owls, & golden eagles. Kittens eaten by smaller owls, bald eagles, foxes, bears, & adult male bobcats.

Very territorial & fight fiercely over territory, w/ fights sometimes resulting in death.

Sexually mature at 1-1.5 years old.

They breed from December-April.

It is sometimes called the Bay Lynx.

They’re valued for their fur.

A male’s 25-30 square mile territory can have 5-6 female territories within.

A female gives birth to a litter of 1-8 kittens.

Kittens eat solid food at 2 months and start hunting with mom at 5 months old.

They hunt by stealth.

Fun Fact(s):
Melanistic Bobcats have been seen in Florida.

Even though they can run up to 30 mph, they prefer to walk.

They’re rather shy & avoid human contact.

Often paired w/ coyote in theme of duality in many Native American cultures.

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