Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Height: 17-23 inches; length: 25-41 inches; weight: up to 28 lbs.
Varies widely from forests and mountainous areas to semi-deserts and brush land. A habitat dense with vegetation and lots of prey is ideal. Bobcats are excellent hunters, stalking prey with stealth and patience, then capturing their meals with one great leap. Solitary and territorial animals, females never share territory with each other. Male territories tend to overlap. Territories are established with scent markings and territory sizes are extremely varied – generally 25-30 sq. miles for males and about 5 sq. miles for females.
All of the United States except for parts of the Midwest. Also found in Canada and Mexico.
Rabbits, rodents, birds, bats and even adult deer.
12-13 years in the wild. Up to 25 years in captivity.
Mating season: Late winter, but throughout the year is possible. Gestation: 50-70 days. Kittens are born around early spring. Litter size: 1-6 kittens. The kittens begin eating solid food at 2 months; learn to hunt at 5 months. Between 8-11 months, the kittens are evicted from their mother’s territory.
The most common wildcat in North America, the bobcat is named for its short, bobbed tail. Medium-sized cats and are slightly smaller but similar in appearance to their cousin, the lynx. Their coats vary in color from shades of beige to brown fur with spotted or lined markings in dark brown or black.