Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bobcat

BobcatThe Bobcat is an extraordinary feline. An extremely adaptable wildcat of North America, the Bobcat has managed to survive in healthy numbers in a variety of different natural habitats, consuming a diverse spectrum of prey, in regions both wild and inhabited by us humans. Classified in the Lynx genus, the Bobcat (Lynx Rufus) is considered generally a more successful hunter than the Canadian Lynx, and is perhaps the best mid-sized predator in the continent.

Twice as big as a house cat, the Bobcat weighs between fifteen to thirty pounds and is usually three to four feet long. Males are generally larger. The size among subspecies is generally subject to terrain, with Bobcats in open northern regions being bigger than their southern counterparts. The coat is usually tan colored with a number of dark stripes on it assisting the cat in its camouflage. The characteristic feature is its small tail (up to half a foot long) that gives it the 'bobbed' appearance - responsible for the species' name. Unlike other lynx cats, the Bobcat tail has a white underside with a black stubby tip - distinguishing the cat. Despite being a small cat, Bobcat is quite muscular and its strong, proportionately long, hind legs enable it to generate tremendous bounds of speed, reaching up to 30mph!

With their keen senses, extreme agility and surprising strength, Bobcats make great hunters - able to take down animals three times their size. The prey animals of this opportunistic wily hunter include insects, rodents, birds, fish, squirrels, rabbits and even deer! At times it may prey even on foxes, small dogs and house cats. The usual hunting technique is to stalk the animal and allow it to come within twenty to thirty feet as the cat lays crouching in wait. The chase is then initiated and the prey is taken down with its sharp retractable claws. The cat then bites through neck, skull or chest of the animal to kill it. In case of large prey animal, Bobcat covers it with leaves or debris to return to it over the next couple of days and feed. The hunting time is usually dusk and dawn, with the cat roaming freely over several miles in its range during the night. Despite its cute appearance, the Bobcat is a very fierce animal and is capable of generating frightening growls and snarls - misleading many to believe its sounds as those of a mountain lion.

Solitary as most cats, Bobcats come together during mating. The female is the sole parent and yields three to four kittens after a gestational period of nearly two months, though not all the kittens make it to adulthood in the wild. The lifespan is nearly twelve years in the wild and over twenty years in captivity. Principal threats include parasites, hunting humans and automobiles.

BobcatDespite voracious hunting by humans over last few decades, Bobcats' great adaptability has enabled it to survive in the wild. In fact its success as a species can be gaged by the fact that despite the great value that has been placed on its fur in history, it is still not even concerned vulnerable as a species by international wildlife bodies. Its unique survival instincts has even enabled it to create a niche for itself even around urban areas, becoming a constant threat, owing to its great stealth and climbing abilities, to farms and pets like our Karl. The best idea would be to stay indoors to avoid Bobcats. Other alternatives include keeping a dog in the locality (Bobcats have been known to be hunted and chased up trees by dogs) and notifying the local wildlife officials. Remember it is not interspecies conflict as in big cats, when Bobcats prey upon domestic felines, its just that house cats make up part of the menu of these cunning predators in urban settings!

25 comments:

Tara said...

I'm a little scared reading your post, but they sure are beautiful cats!

Tara

Marie, Donny, Casey said...

Wow, thanks for the info on the da bobcat. We were so scared after reading about Karl's run-in with one.

The Cat Realm said...

Thank you sooo much, that was wonderful of you to post this! I was afraid though that there is really no solution for me...
Anastasia and I live out in the Sonoran Desert and there is not such this one bobcat. I am afraid there are several...
We are only outside during the day and go in at night (most every night, sometimes we just can't help the call of our wild roots).
The ranch like place were we live does not allow dogs (to not scare all the OTHER wildlife away - like the deer, and javelinas, and racoons, and rabbits, etc.) so I guess I will just have to be very vigilant!
Thank you again our dear friend, we love your site!
Karl

Catzee said...

Rascal's 15 pounds. Does that mean he's as big as a bobcat? An' they can catches stuff 3 times their size?????? Hmm. I better start lookin' fur somefin' bigger than bugs to catch.

Daisy said...

Wow, bobcats are very interesting. I never knew they were so little. But they sure are mighty hunters. I think I will be safe if I stay inside my stroller.

Chairman Mao said...

Wowie, they're bee-yootiful big kitties! Kinda skeery, but really bee-yootiful!

Kittyhugs and purrs from MaoMao!

Karen Jo said...

Bobcats are really interesting. I never knew they could run up to 30 miles per hour.

Miss Peach>(^,^) said...

They are adorable babies and grow into beautiful bigger cats. Omer, have you ever heard of the Liger Cat? I could not believe it until I say this. http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/l/ligers.htm
Since I am a Devon rex cat like dear Daisy...my fur is different from most cats and I just happen to not have any whiskers or eyebrows. Daisy is really lucky to have her's, they are beautiful.
Anyway, I promise not to play around with make~up again.
Luf and purrrs Miss Peach

Miss Peach>(^,^) said...

that is:
http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/l/ligers.htm

for some reason it didn't want to behave so i hisssed at it and here it is:)

Dragonheart said...

Bobcats are very beautiful! Thank you for sharing so much interesting information about them.

zevo calamari said...

My pet human loves your posts.... they kind of scare me!
xoxo
zevo

Eric and Flynn said...

That was very interesting to read about the bobcat. Although they look lovely, we are glad we don't have them here. We prefer to be the hunters, not the hunted.

Lux said...

At first I thought you said they were in the "Lux genus!"

Faz the Cat said...

we were hoping to see one of these during our travels but no luck yet? Fred and Ginger

caspersmom said...

Very interesting information on the Bobcats. They sure make cute kittens though.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

That top picture looks like my can, Manny, when I first got him. He was very scared and not a happy camper. Now is is a "Mr. Nice, Nice" and never looks like this anymore.

Anonymous said...

I, being a wild bobcat am touched by this artical. I was looking up facts on google cuz I'm interested in what U humans think of me.

Genealogy said...

Wow, these cats are really beautiful! Thanks for sharing! :d

Anonymous said...

I have many Bobcats where I live. Two types mainly. One being those commonly seen in the Sierra foothills and a second called a "Mountain Bobcat" which is much darker than the former and very difficult to spot with even the keenest eye. Despite their somewhat "smaller" size (the Mountain Bobcat male is almost the size of a small mountain lion) they remain fierce and elusive animals. They are fabulous hunters which I have viewed first hand. I think their elusiveness is what allows them to survive in both urban and rural areas.

Samantha said...

I love and respect the bobcats I've seen near my apt in Ft. Worth, TX. I've seen two different cats in the same area last Oct. I love to take my house cat on walks on the leash so I am extra careful to avoid walks during dawn and dusk now. Thank you for the helpful info.

Anonymous said...

im doing a maine bord game of a bobcat im almast done its do on this wensdat

Lizzy said...

I<3 BOBCATS

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