Critter Corner - Bobcat
DID YOU KNOW:
Bobcats have retractable claws, which means they can pull their
claws back into their paws. They also will sharpen those
claws on nearby trees just like a cat using a scratching post!
Bobcats are carnivores and eat many types of animals. Some
of their favorite foods are mice, rats, squirrels, wild turkeys,
rabbits and sometimes small deer. Bobcats have very rough
tongues that help them lick the meat off bones. Bobcats
will stalk their prey and then pounce up to 10 feet to catch the
animal when it comes near.
Mother bobcat normally gives birth to two kittens in May or
makes a soft nest of dried leaves and moss and cares for them by
herself. The babies have spotted fur and very sharp claws.
When they are 10 days old they open their eyes and soon they
venture outside the den to play. Bobcats live about eight
years in the wild.
Bobcats prefer forests with thick underbrush and where there are
nearby clearings, rocky outcroppings & glades. A hollow
tree, a thicket or hole in a rocky cliff is used for daily
Bobcats have territories that they mark with urine and with musk
secreted from glands on their backsides. When upset, a
bobcat may growl or give a high-pitched scream. Sharp
teeth and claws are used for defense against intruders and
Bobcats are two or three times as big as domestic
Bobcats are very curious cats. Often their tracks can
be seen zigzagging through the forest as the find new and
interesting things to explore.
They are excellent swimmers and can easily cross large
Bobcats are expert tree climbers and will sometimes ambush
their prey from a tree branch.
To learn more about
(Photo credits: Head shot, New
Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; Second picture,
US Fish and Wildlife; Bobcat kitten, Michigan Department of
Natural Resources; Bobcat on hill, New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection; Young bobcat, Illinois Department of