The most common wildcat in North America is the bobcat ( lynx Rufus). The IUCN estimates that the bobcat population is between 2.3 and 3.5 million. Explore some amazing Facts About Bobcats below!
They can be found in Mexico, five Canadian provinces, and all contiguous U.S. states except Delaware. Bobcats can be difficult to find and seldom seen in their natural habitat. Because they prefer to find cover wherever they live (scrubland, forests, or swamps), they are so difficult to see—in residential areas.
The tail that gives Bobcats their name is the most distinctive feature. It is a cut- or “bobbed” tail that measures between 4.3 and 7.5 inches.
Facts About Bobcats
1. They are The Smallest Lynx
They are similar in size to the lynx but smaller. These cats can weigh anywhere from 8 to 33 lbs and are roughly the same size as a cocker spaniel. The length of a bobcat is between 25 and 42 inches, including the tail. Males are longer than females. The bobcats in northern climates are more likely to be larger than those in the south.
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2. They are often misidentified.
Bobcats can sometimes be mistakenly identified as other animals. Sometimes, they can be mistaken for domestic cats and stray kittens. Other times, they may mistakenly believe that they see a Florida panther or Canada lynx.
Biologists can sometimes struggle to tell the Canada lynx from the bobcat if they don’t see their paw prints. The Canada Lynx is a large, hairy animal with snowshoe-like feet.
3. They eat mainly small prey.
Although bobcats can take on large prey like deer, their diet consists mainly of rodents or rabbits. Despite their reputation for eating domestic pets, they rarely choose household pets as prey. However, they will occasionally eat domestic pets or chickens that are not secured. Bobcats will eat fish and sharks.
Crepuscular hunters Bobcats prefer to hunt at dawn and dusk. They may also keep a more nocturnal hunting program depending on prey availability. They can leap up to 10 feet and are very stealthy hunters.
4. They are Territorial
Bobcats live a lonely life. The availability of prey can affect the size of their ranges. Females’ territories are typically 6 miles in size, while those of males span 25 miles. They may also overlap with the home ranges of one or more female Bobcats.
Bobcats will not share their territory with other cats of the same sex. Other bobcats are kept out by scent marking their territory with urine, feces, and secretions.
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5. They don’t stick to one Den.
There are many dens for Bobcats within their territory. A cave or rock shelter is the main Den. Sometimes they choose to hollow out fallen trees or take over abandoned beaver lodges or earthen burrows.
Bobcats have auxiliary dens that are scattered throughout their territory. They can be used for shelter or keep their kittens close while they hunt. These dens can be rock ledges, stumps, or brush piles. To repel intruders, Bobcats spray urine at shelter entrances.
6. Bobcat Mothers Teach their Young Hunt
The litter size of a female bobcat is one to six kittens. Younger bobcats produce fewer kittens. The young remain in the Den for two months after birth. At the end of the first month, the mother begins to feed the kittens. After the kittens have emerged from their Den, she teaches them how to hunt and provides food. The kittens are removed from the mom’s territory at 11 months old.
7. Bobcats in Trouble
Popular fur made Bobcats’ populations plummeted in the 20th century. The IUCN has listed them as a species of little concern after being protected with many successful conservation efforts. The U.S. The U.S.
Bobcats are still listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora’s (CITES) index. 4 But, 38 states, seven Canadian provinces, and Mexico allow certain types of a bobcat hunting. Every year thousands of bobcats get killed for their fur. 5 Invasive pythons in Florida are decreasing the population. Rodenticides also kill bobcats when they eat targeted species.
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8. They can run very fast.
Bobcats can run up to 30 mph. Because they are hunters, bobcats can run faster than long-distance runners. A bobcat’s hunting running gait shows another aspect of its ability to live up to its name. They sometimes run like a rabbit and place their hind feet in the same spot as their front. They can appear to be bob when running with this style of running.