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Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are small cats that inhabit a range that stretches throughout a large portion of North America, from southern Canada to southern Mexico. Bobcats have a cream to buff colored coat that is dappled with dark brown spots and stripes. They have short tufts of fur at the tips of their ears and a fringe of fur that frames their face.

Bobcats are solitary animals except during the mating season when they form male and female pairs. They are skillful climbers and are most active at dusk and during the night. Bobcats are territorial and mark the boundaries of their home range with urine, feces, and anal gland secretions. The territories of male bobcats sometimes overlap with those of other males or females. The territories of females do not overlap with the territories other females.

Bobcats have acute hearing and a refined sense of smell. They stalk and ambush their prey, often killing their victims by biting the base of the neck. The species on which bobcats prey includes small mammals, ground-dwelling birds, and reptiles.

  • Mass: 4-15 kg
  • Body Length: 65-105 cm
  • Tail Length: 15 cm
  • Shoulder Height: 30-45 cm
  • Diet: Carnivores. Prey includes rodents, rabbits, birds, reptiles, small ungulates.
  • Breeding Season: spring
  • Sexual Maturity: 2 years
  • Gestation: 50-70 days
  • Number of Offspring: 1-6
  • Time to Weaning: 60-70 days
  • Predators: Young fall prey to foxes, owls, coyotes. Adults fall prey to humans.
  • Average Lifespan: 12 years (wild)
  • Habitat: forests, semi-deserts, mountains, scrublands
  • Geographical Range: North America, from southern Canada to southern Mexico


Where to See:

The bobcat's range spans much of North America, from southern Canada to southern Mexico. Bobcats inhabit forests, semi-deserts, mountains, and scrublands.


  • Ciszek D. 2002. Lynx rufus. Animal Diversity Web. March 03, 2009.
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