Americas adaptable wildcat
nocturnal as well as elusive, Bobcats are
not normally spotted by humans. Despite being seldom seen,
they are still the most abundant wild cat in North America. They
inhabit areas of desert, swamp, forest, are known to live close to
human settlements. Similarities to the
Canadian Lynx include, large feet,
long limbs, and ears with tufts at the tips. They are approximately
two times the size of a domestic cat.
They are a very
adaptable and resourceful cat, which lives in habitats ranging from
the dense vegetation of Southern California to the citrus groves of Florida. Essentially ,the bobcat can be found in
all parts of the United States except the Midwest. It is also found
in Canada and parts of South America. The various sub-species share
characteristics in habitats. They all seem to want dense shrub
cover, protection from bad weather, plenty of prey, den sites, safe
areas to rest in where they won't be disturbed.
They are a brown
to brownish red with black spots with a white underbelly and short,
black-tipped tail. Its fur may be grayer in winter. They have fairly large
ears with tufts of hair on the tips. The cheeks have a ruff
(beard) that is striped as well as a black tipped, short tail.
Its name comes from the bobbed tail. In Florida, Melanism
is common. They are about two
feet tall to the top of the shoulder. They can weigh anywhere between 15 to 30
pounds depending on what region it comes from. The bobcat alaso has
exceptional sight and hearing.
carnivorous and have a wide variety of prey such as rabbits,
rodents (rat and mice) possums, raccoons, squirrels, birds, and
They are fierce hunters and can kill prey much bigger than
themselves but tend to stalk the smaller prey.
Location and season determines its breeding seasons. This is the only
time when they will hunt and eat together. Females have litters of
one to six kittens, choosing dens that are secluded. Nursing last
for about 2 months after which, she will wean them and start them on
solid foods. She will teach them to hunt and then she will drive them away
at eight to twelve months of age, making them disperse to find their own territories.
In some areas,
they are still trapped for their fur. North American species are
larger than other sub-species, It is estimated the more than one
million are in the United States.