The bobcat is crepuscular, being most active at dawn and dusk, although they become more diurnal during autumn and winter in response to prey activity.
Amazing Facts About the Bobcat
- Each night bobcats travel along a habitual route, from 3 to 11 km long. Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and predominantly solitary.
- Of all the wild cats in North America, the bobcat has the largest range, and is also the most abundant.
- Although most commonly preying on rabbits, birds, small game and rodents, bobcats can kill prey much bigger than themselves (up to eight times their own weight). They will do this more often when prey availability is limited so that they can return to the carcass for future meals.
- The bobcat is a stealthy hunter which pounces on its prey. They can leap over 3 metres in length. They can also chase down prey once they get close enough by reaching up to 50 km/h in short bursts, although they are unable to keep up such pace over longer distances.
- Female bobcats find a secluded den to raise their young. They have between 1 and 6 kittens, which remain with the mother for up to 12 months. The mother cares for them, keeping them safe and fed, and helps teach them to hunt.
- It has been known for domestic cats to care for orphaned bobcat kittens.
- The bobcat’s tail, which appears to be cut or “bobbed” is the reason for its common name.
- The bobcat is the smallest of the four lynx species. There are 12 subspecies of bobcat.
- In Native American symbolism, the bobcat represents: clear vision in dark places, vigilance, patience and the ability to see through masks.
- In Native American mythology, the bobcat is twinned with the coyote to represent the theme of duality. Respectively they are associated with fog and wind, which are two elements representing opposites in Amerindian folklore.
- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Carnivore
- Lifespan: 10-12 years
- Size: Around 89 cm long with stubby tail of 10-18 cm (males larger than females)
- Weight: Males 9-14 kg; females 5.9-9.5 kg
- Habitat: Woodland, semi-deserts, and swampland
- Range: North America
- Latin name: Lynx rufus