Bobcats are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are mostly active at night. They are also elusive, which make them extremely difficult to be spotted by humans.
A large number of bobcats wander the areas of North America and adapt to different habitats with various conditions such as forests, swamps, deserts, and many more.
Bobcats are aggressive wildcats that dominate several parts of North America. More than a million years have passed since this species has been in existence and since then it has been known by various names, which include wildcat, bay lynx, lynx cat, and red lynx.
Table of Contents
- Scientific classification
- Physical appearance
- Behaviours and lifestyle
- Reproduction and life-cycle
- Facts about bobcats
Bobcats are species that belong to the genus lynx. They are scientifically referred to as Lynx rufus but are small in size compared to their cat cousins who are the Canadian and Iberian lynx.
- Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
- Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)
- Class: Mammalia (mammals)
- Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
- Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)
- Family: Felidae (cats)
- Subfamily: Felinae (small cats)
- Genus: Lynx
- Species: Lynx rufus (Bobcat)
- Sub-species: L.r rufus, L.r fasciatus
There are about twelve subspecies of bobcats historically, but only two subspecies are recognized. The recognized bobcats can be found in different locations which include:
- Lynx rufus rufus: The eastern part of the Great plain, North America
- Lynx rufus fasciatus: The western part of the Great plain, North America
There are names of other sub-species which are unrecognized or further research are being made of them, they include L. r. gigas, L. r. superiorensis, L. r. floridanus, L. r. texensis, L. r. baileyi, L. r. esquinapae and a few others.
A bobcat has fur ruffled around each side of its face. With its tail looking cut or bobbed, the name “bob” cat was derived.
The coat colour that defines a bobcat varies, but the recorded and recognized colour are reddish-brown, a shade of light grey, buff-brown, and yellowish-brown. Its fur has stripes or dots which could be darker brown or black. Around its eye, a thin layer of white fur can be spotted.
The tuft of hair on the bobcat’s ear makes it easy to be identified, while its bobbed tail measures up to 14cm. Its weight varies between 13-30 pounds, measuring up to 53.34cm high while standing and 76.2-127cm long.
When compare to the Canada lynx, its ear tufts and legs are shorter, furred footpads with a light smaller paw and a stockier appearance. The bobcat also possesses impeccable hearing and eyesight.
There are various habitats in which the bobcat can adapt to, and they include mountains, desert, forest, farmland, and swamps. It also creates its den in a space between rocks or tree crevice.
Bobcats are known all over the world as a nocturnal wildcat, which means its hunting takes place mostly at night. It has a great sense of smelling and hearing, which is used in the hunting of smaller animals or insects, such as rabbits, mice, birds and many more.
Just because it eats smaller animals, that doesn’t mean it can’t hunt bigger animals. With its soft furred paw, the bobcat is very stealthy, and this ability gives it the upper hand to deliver a deadly blow to unsuspecting prey.
Behaviours and lifestyle
Bobcats are shy creatures. They are unsociable or lonesome but are very territorial, which makes them aggressive against outsiders. Male bobcats have a large territorial boundary, which ranges for about 20-30 miles and often overlaps with the territory of a couple of female bobcats.
Reproduction and life-cycle
The lifespan of an average bobcat is 12 to 13 years. The mating season for bobcats is usually between February and March. Their offsprings are born between April and May after a month or 60 to 70 days of gestation. The offsprings are raised by the female bobcats alone.
The offsprings are born with their eyes closed, but after the ninth or tenth day, their eyes open. They begin to roam around in the den and explore their surroundings for four weeks before the female bobcat begins to wean them for two months.
After 3 to 5 months, they begin to migrate with their mother. They begin to hunt by themselves once they clock their first year, then afterwards they leave their mother to leave on their own.
Facts about bobcats
- Both genders of Bobcats are territorial, but the female territory never overlaps, unlike the males
- Male bobcats territory is usually 30 miles unlike the females which is 5 miles
- The main prey on the bobcats’ menu are rabbits
- The number of offsprings is usually between 1 to 6
- Bobcats lifespan is between 12 to 13 years
- Its hunting techniques usually involves stalking
- They are nocturnal wildcats which means they are mostly active at night
- The male isn’t involved in raising the offsprings
- Its predators include wolves and cougars
- Bobcats have great jump powers and can jump as high as 12 feet