The bobcat may be on the smaller end of the big cat spectrum. But, that doesn’t make it any less fierce. These felines are impressive predators that live all around North America. If you’ve seen one, boy are you lucky – because bobcats are known for their elusive behavior.
Keep reading to get the 411 on North America’s most popular wild kitty: the Bobcat!
Bobcats get their names from their tails
No, the Bobcat wasn’t named after some guy named Bob. This cat gets its name from its ‘bobbed’ tail. Unlike other bigger cats, the Bobcat has a very short tail that ranges from only 2 to 8 inches in length.
Now, compare that to the tail of your kitty at home. You’d be surprised to learn that Bobcats have shorter tails than most domestic cats!
They can be both crepuscular and nocturnal
Many often say that Bobcats are nocturnal animals. That is true, but, just like domestic cats, Bobcats are technically crepuscular.
What is a crepuscular creature? A crepuscular animal is most active around dusk and dawn. These are the best hunting times for bobcats, especially those living in hotter climates where daytime hours are too warm to hunt in.
Yet, Bobcats living nearby urban environments have adapted to a more nocturnal lifestyle. Bobcats are very elusive and solitary animals. So, to avoid humans at all costs, Bobcats living around or in urban environments are awake for longer periods at night.
Bobcats aren’t about socializing…
These cats do not steer clear of humans just because they want to hunt – Bobcats are actually very introverted animals. They do not like being around anyone, even their own kind. In scientific terms, you’d call a bobcat a solitary animal. But, we introverts understand that being around other people can be stressful…
The only time a bobcat isn’t alone is when they have a family. Female bobcats raise their cubs in one den until the cubs are mature enough to be independent. It’s also important to note that female bobcats raise their kids alone. As we said, bobcats like being alone.
No matter if it’s breeding season or not, bobcats remain very territorial. They mark their areas carefully, especially female Bobcats. The females never cross territories, while male bobcats can cross paths sometimes.
North America is the official home of the Bobcat
Bobcats only live in the continent of North America. Yet, these fascinating felines can live in all different kinds of geographies, from forests to deserts. This makes sense as to why you find many bobcats in California and along the West Coast.
Bobcats do live beyond just the West Coast. You can find Bobcats as far north as Canada and as far south as Mexico. Head east, and you can find a thriving population of bobcats even in New Jersey. These cats are native to New Jersey but almost disappeared completely from the state due to deforestation years ago.
Thankfully, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife worked to revive the population during the 1970s and 1980s. The division captured native bobcats who traveled North and introduced them back to their habitats in New Jersey. Since then, the population has grown substantially.
These cats love to move around
If there’s one thing Bobcats have, it’s range. These cats can mark territories that are miles in size. We’re talking anywhere from 1 to 18 miles.
Since Bobcats typically maintain a large territory, these cats usually have multiple dens. This is something unique to bobcats, as many other felines prefer to stick to just one den.
Bobcats can run an impressive 30 miles per hour. But, don’t freak out just yet. Bobcats are shy and also really prefer walking. So, don’t expect a bobcat to charge at you like a cheetah out of nowhere. Just don’t provoke a bobcat if you see one! Remember, these cats love to just be left alone.
A Bobcat is a Lynx, but a Lynx is not a Bobcat…
Let’s get one thing straight – a bobcat is a lynx. But, a lynx is not a Bobcat. Huh?
Well, a Bobcat is a species of Lynx. It is part of the Lynx genus. This means a bobcat shares various characteristics with other lynx species. The bobcat and Canadian lynx are confused with each other quite often. Funny enough, these two cats actually do share a small habitat, in the forests across the U.S.-Canadian border.
So, how do you tell these two cats apart? First, bobcats are smaller than the Canadian lynx. Bobcats have much smaller, less furry feet. That’s because Bobcats survive in hotter, drier climates, where extra fur isn’t as necessary.
Learn something new about the Bobcat? We sure hope so. Please feel free to share all your thoughts, comments, or even sightings of this North American kitty. We’d love to hear more about this unique feline!
Down in Texas, there are a couple of rescued Bobcats getting their second chance at life. Learn about them here on CattitudeDaily.com!