Bobcats are one of the popular cats found in few regions in the world. They can be said to be a type of lynx found in North America. The Bobcats are medium-sized cats having stumpy tails and pointed ears. These cats usually have brown to buff fur or a mixture, of both. Some bobcats are more in intense in color having some reddish tinge with some unique spots with black and brown stripes or even both. Their face has ruffs with ear tufts and has white spots at the tips of their ears. They have this bobbed unique tails, and this is where they acquired their name. They have another unique and important adaptation which is a white underside at the tail in which a mother raises to call for the kittens when they are left far behind when walking.
They vary in size where the bobcats dwelling in the North America are slightly larger than those dwelling in the south. An adult bobcat has an average of 6 to 7 inch in length with a stubby appendage and weighs around 9 and 33 pounds on average.
Their Native Habitat
Most of these cats are found in North America. They are adaptive animals who can live in various habitats including the boreal coniferous forests in the North, mixed forest of the North coastal swamps in the East and even the scrublands and deserts in the South.
Their Skills of Communication
They a variety of communicating skills which include using the scent whereby they urinate along the travel routes for their partners to recognize them. They can also leave feces along the trail as an indication for the kittens to follow its mother. This is also an indication that a female is receptive to mating and even marking their home range. When the Bobcats are close, they communicate via body postures, facial expressions and even signals where the spit bird like chips to scare off their predators.
Eating Habits and Food
These animals usually feed on hares and rabbits as they are good hunters. They also feed on a small percentage of rodents like the mice and squirrels. They can also hunt for lizards small deer, snakes and even domestic animals if they come across one. The terrestial Bobcats are excellent tree climbers where can climb high to watch over for the low laying prey and birds. They have excellent hunting skills whereby they can stalk their prey with patience and usually travels for 2 to 7 miles in the evening in hunting missions and patrolling their territory.
While chasing their prey, Bobcats can run up to 48 kilometers per hour stepping their back at the same spot where the front feet stepped thus reducing any noise when hunting.
The Social Structure
Bobcats are usually territorial and solitary animals. A male usually has a larger home thus allowing him to socialize with more females. They usually mark their territories thus minimizing confrontations and highly respects each other’s territories.
The mating season usually happens in the winter with a gestation period of 60 to 70 days. The female can give birth to four kittens. This happens in well-protected areas such as hollow tree dens, cave or in the dense shrubs. Once the kittens are born, the male is driven away but stays within the territory. The mother will nurse them for two months and then start walking around for three to five months before separating before another winter for another mating season.
Bobcats can be active during the day and night but more active during dawn and dusk. They can live for about 5 to 15 years.