Found in North America where it is the most common wildcat, the Bobcat gets its name from its stubby or “bobbed” tail. Bobcats vary in size depending upon supporting habitat. They generally run from 20 to 24 inches in height and weigh between 13 and 40 lbs. Their reddish brown coat is typically striped and spotted with black which provides excellent camouflage.
Food and Hunting
Rabbits and hares make up 2/3 of the Bobcat’s diet, the remainder consists of squirrels and mice. The Bobcat, like many larger predators, can fast for some time when food is not available, then eats heavily when it is available. The animal caches (stores) and revisits larger kills.
The various calls of the Bobcat sound much like those of the domestic cat, although its scream is piercing. When threatened, the animal utters a short, sudden, and resonant “cough-bark.” It yowls loudest and most often during the breeding season.
The Bobcat is a solitary animal, with opposite sexes coming together only for mating. In the early spring, 1 to 6 blind, helpless young are born. At this time, the female drives the male away from the den. Once the kittens can eat solid food, the female allows the male to return to the den. Male Bobcats are unusual among cat species because they bring food to both the mother and kittens. At 6 months old, kittens learn to hunt on their own and the male retreats back to his solitary live.
Threats to Bobcats
Hunters and the automobile are this animal’s worst enemies, but predators such as foxes, owls and adult male Bobcats may attack young.