How to Identify a Bobcat

The bobcat belongs to the family Felidae, the same family as a domestic housecat.

Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are members of the cat family (Felidae), the same family as lions, tigers and your house cat. Bobcats can be identified by their fur - reddish-brown above (a) and whitish below (b), with black spots or streaks all throughout the coat (c). Another main identifying characteristic is the short, stubby tail which can measure about 9 inches in length (d). Large tufts of fur on the cheeks, termed a facial ruff (e), and tufts of hair on the ears (f) are also characteristic. In the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, bobcats weigh about 20 lbs, average about 30 inches in body length, and can stand almost 18 inches high. Since bobcats are primarily nocturnal, hunting and moving in the night, the best time to spot them are during the early morning and late evening hours.

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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