If you are interested in discovering some interesting facts about the bobcat, you came to the right place! Although it isn’t the fastest or the biggest feline in the world, the bobcat is an animal with amazing characteristics and incredible abilities.
The bobcat is one of the four species that belong to the genus of wild cat called LynxI, and it is the smallest of them. Although their coats are usually brown with tones of gray and black lines and circles, their coats may vary depending on where they live. When they inhabit desert areas, they usually have lighter coats. When they inhabit forested areas, they usually have darker coats. This probably occurs because their fur is used as camouflage.
They have pointed ears and lots of ruffs close to their ears, which is why their faces look bigger than they actually are. Bobcats usually weigh about 10 kg, but they can go from 6 to 18 kg. They are usually 82.7 cm long and can go up to 125 cm.
The habitat of bobcats is primarily determined by the availability of their prey and the weather, as they avoid snowy areas. They usually inhabit forests, woodlands, and deserted areas. They can also be found in the surroundings of urban and agricultural areas.
As they prefer areas with lots of trees, they are great climbers. This very useful when they hunt to observe their prey from the distance, and when they are hunted, to escape from bigger animals.
Bobcats can be found in Southern Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Bobcats prefer hunting small animals, like different species of rabbits, rodents, fish, and birds. However, they also hunt bigger animals. When prey isn’t abundant, bobcats can go through long periods without eating, but when they do, they hunt big animals. They can hunt small dogs, deer, foxes, and ungulates.
If they choose bigger animals, they kill them, eat a portion and hide the rest to consume it later. They adapt their hunting strategies depending on the animal they choose to kill.
Interesting Facts about the Bobcat
1. They are crepuscular.
When we say that animals are “crepuscular” it means that they prefer to be active during twilight. This is very common among different species of mammals. In the case of bobcats, they are usually awake three hours before the evening and go to sleep at midnight. Then, they go active again before the break of the day and go to rest three hours before the day starts. This is why bobcats have great night vision and excellent hearing.
2. Bobcats’ gestation period is of only 2 months.
Have you ever wondered how long is the gestation period for animals? Well, compared to the nine months we spent in the belly of our mothers, bobcats only spend 2 months inside their mothers! Their gestation period goes from 60 to 70 days.
Female bobcats can have up to 6 kittens, but the average is two to four. The mother takes care of them alone, and young bobcats become independent after a year, when they separate from their family.
3. They accept overlap, something unusual for felines.
Like most felines, bobcats are solitary and territorial. Their ranges are small and are strongly marked. They use urine and feces to mark their ranges. However, it is known that bobcats tolerate overlap. Overlap occurs when the range of an animal stretches over the range of another animal. This is very unusual among felines, but male bobcats usually accept it.
4. There is a debate about the number of Bobcats’ subspecies that exist.
Thirteen subspecies of bobcats have been identified throughout history. However, most of them have been questioned because of the minimal differences that exist between subspecies.
In 2017, the Cat Classification Taskforce of the Cat Specialist Group established that there are only two subspecies, and a third one is still being studied.
5. The bobcat species is two million years old!
Bobcats’ ancestors come from Eurasia and after establishing in North America, the bobcat was born 2 million years ago. The modern bobcat you can observe today came into existence 20,000 years ago.
6. Bobcats are important for the Native American culture.
Native Americans use the image of the bobcat and combine it with the image of coyotes to symbolize duality. For them, bobcats represent the fog, and coyotes represent the wind. They appear in the stories of the Nez Perc, which see these two animals as opposed beings.
In the 80s, a decorated bobcat grave was found, which also belonged to Native American culture. This indicates that bobcats were spiritually important, as the grave was found on a mountain. This is important because common animals were buried in the villages and didn’t have graves with decoration.
I hope that you enjoyed learning more about bobcats! If you want to learn more about other animals, visit animal facts page!