adult bobcat

Robert Shantz

The bobcat (Lynx rufus), also known as a lynx, is a small feline belonging to the family of cats known as Felidae. The bobcat has an extensive range of habitat, and can be found mostly throughout Northern America with exception to some areas of the Midwestern United States. These felines prefers woodlands such as coniferous or deciduous forests, but can also be found in a variety of other ecosystems such as semi-deserts, rocky mountains, grasslands, and even in urban environments.

Bobcats are exclusively carnivores, only preying on other small animals for meat consumption. They will tend to eat small rodents, rabbits, birds, and even a few reptiles. When hunting on prey, bobcats will aim to pounce on their target and lunge for the vertebrae to kill with a swift, yet strong bite.

Bobcats are very territorial mammals and use a variety of scents such as urine and secretions from their glands to mark their territory. The habitat or territory of one male bobcat will overlap with multiple females’ territories; however, a female’s territory will not overlap with a territory of another female bobcat.

Bobcats can be identified by their buff to brown fur with dark brown to black stripes occurring on parts of the body. Distinctive black fur will be present at the end of their longs tails and on the tips of their ears. A distinctive characteristic that can be used to identify a bobcat is the long fur that can be found on the sides of the face, resembling sideburns.

Last updated: July 30, 2018

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