About twice the size of an average domestic cat, the bobcat can be found from Mexico to southern Canada. The most populous wildcat in the US, it is estimated a million bobcats call this region their home.
Named for its tail, which looks like it is “bobbed”, the bobcat is often mistaken with its cousin the lynx. However, the bobcat has distinctive black bars on its forelegs, white underneath the black tip on its tail, and has shorter ear tufts. It also has more spots on its body compared to the lynx and all its legs are about the same length. The back legs of the lynx on the other hand, are longer than the front. More aggressive in nature, bobcats will generally out fight a lynx.
Bobcats have superb tree climbing skills and are capable of running up to 55 km or 34 miles an hour. Their bold hunting style means they can kill animals bigger than themselves. Although their preferred choice meat is the hare, they will eat almost anything, including small deer, domestic dogs and cats, goats, sheep, rabbits, squirrels, mice, snakes, lizards, and poultry.
They are able to adapt to plenty of environments, although bobcats prefer areas with thick vegetation.
This bobcat found a field mouse, and seemed to have some fun with it before relishing its meal.
Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and mostly solitary. Occasionally they travel in pairs, especially during the months from winter into spring when they breed.
This is one of the few times they travel in pair
Bobcats have a gestation period of about two months. Females choose a secluded den to raise a litter of one to six ( the average size is three) young kittens, which will remain with their mother for 9 to 12 months. During this time, they learn to hunt before setting out on their own.
Bobcats are seldom seen during the daylight as they mainly go out in dawn and dusk. Predators of bobcats include coyotes and wolves. Bobkittens (baby bobcats) are sometimes eaten by adult (often male) bobcats! Most bobcats have a lifespan of 10-12 years in the wild.
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