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Bobcat image
Bobcat

Bobcat

(Mammal)

Bobcat Baby
Bobcat Baby

Bobcat Habits

Although the bobcat is a nocturnal hunter, it is also active at dawn and dusk. In the northern part of its range, it will even hunt by day in the winter if food is scarce.
The bobcat is extremely territorial and marks its boundaries with urine and droppings, as well as by digging up the ground. A male can tell from a female’s urine when she is ready to mate. Mothers with young are extremely aggressive.

Bobcat Communication

Bobcats use scent marking to communicate with other bobcats. During mating season, females' caterwauls can be heard as far as a mile away. Bobcats also have other calls such as yowls, snorts, chattering, gurgles, hisses and spits.

Bobcat Breeding

Mating takes place in the winter and the male mates with all the females that share his territory.
The blind and helpless young are born in early spring. At this time, the female drives the male away from the den, although he usually remains in the area. The kittens’ eyes open after a week, but they continue to suckle for eight weeks.
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.
As the kittens grow, the whole family travels throughout the family territory, living in a number of different dens. When the kittens are five months old, they learn to hunt from their mother. At this time, the male loses interest in the kittens and he returns to his own territory. The young stay with their mother for six to nine months, or until the next breeding season. They then find territories of their own.

Bobcat Food & Feeding

Rabbits and hares make up two-thirds of the bobcat's diet. The remainder consists of squirrels and mice. Bobcats sometimes prey on deer, domestic sheep and goats, and an occasional cat or dog.
The bobcat creeps up on its prey until it is close enough to pounce on and kill the animal. The bobcat is very strong for its size and kills its larger prey by biting and clawing at the base of the skull. During a night-long hunt, a male bobcat may travel as far as 25 miles to find prey.

Bobcat Key Facts

        Size 
              Height: 20-24 inches. Length: 25-42 in. Tail, 8 in
              Weight: Average, 13-24 lb., but as much as 40 lb
       Breeding
             Sexual maturity: 1 year. Males mate in their second year
             Mating: November to January. Females thought to give birth every other year
             Gestation: 60-63 days
             Number of young: 1-6, usually 3
       Lifestyle 
            Habit: Solitary and nocturnal
            Diet: Carnivorous; mainly rabbits and hares; also rodents, sheep, deer, and birds
            Lifespan: Over 30 years in captivity

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The bobcat gets its name from its stumpy tail.
  • A bobcat is likely to be seen during the day only in the winter when food is scarce.
  • Bobcats are good swimmers, but they rarely go into the water. Still, on hot days, they sometimes sit in pools of water to keep cool.
  • The further north bobcats live, the bigger they grow; the largest are found in Canada. Bobcat kittens can be reared to be tame, if boisterous, pets.
  • When bobcats roar or growl, it is so rough and deep they are often mistaken for a mountain lion.

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