Physical Characteristics

Tracks - Fore- and hindprints about the same size, 2" long, slightly longer than wide, with 4 toes, no claw marks. If clearly outlined, heel pad distinguishes from canine print: dog's or Coyote's is lobed only at rear; Bobcat's is lobed at rear and concave at front, giving print scalloped front and rear edges. Trail very narrow, sometimes as if made by a 2-legged animal, because hindfeet are set on, close to, or overlapping foreprints; 9-13" between prints. This manner of walking may be an adaptation to stalking: hunting as it travels, cat can see where to place its forefeet noiselessly, then brings down hind feet on the same spots."

Habitat - Primarily scrubby country, broken forests, but adapts to swamps, farmlands, and arid lands if rocky or brushy.

Range - Spottily distributed from coast to coast from southern Canada into Mexico. Probably most plentiful in Far West, from Idaho, Utah, and Nevada to Pacific and from Washington to Baja California with some found in the Northeast and Southeast. In Florida they appear nearly extinct.

Diet - It preys mostly on the Snowshoe Hare and cottontails but also eats mice, squirrels, Porcupines, and cave bats.

Reproductive Characteristics Etc. - Found only in North America, where it is the most common wildcat, the Bobcat gets its name from its stubby, "bobbed," tail. It lies up by day in a rock cleft, thicket, or other hiding place.... Its scream is piercing and when threatened, it utters a short, sudden, and resonant "cough-bark." It yowls louder and most often during breeding season.

Selected Animals | Alligator | Black Bear | Bobcat | Key Deer | Manatee | Panther | Selected Birds of Florida

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