Animal Profile

Bobcats can run up to 30 miles per hour!

When bobcats walk or run, their back feet step into the same prints that their front feet were in!

Scientific name Lynx rufus
Length 19 to 35 inches (48 to 90 cm)
Tail length 3-7 inches (7 to 17 cm)
Shoulder height 16 to 22 inches (40 to 56 cm)
Weight around 20 pounds (9 kg)
Life span about 15-20 years in the wild; up to 25 years in zoos
Gestation About 75 days
Litter size 2 to 4 at a time
Weight at birth 10 – 12 ounces (238 – 340 g)
Age of maturity about 2 years for females, 2.5 years for males
Conservation status Endangered

A local resident
Bobcats live throughout North America, from Canada to Mexico. They are even found in our home state of Indiana, but not very often. Bobcats live in brush, wooded or grassy areas, and even desert climates.

Not too picky…as long as it’s meat!
In the wild, bobcats eat rabbits, squirrels, other small mammals, birds and small reptiles. Zoo bobcats get a special meat mixture made especially for felines, along with minerals and vitamins. Bobcats will usually eat 3 pounds of meat at a time.

Not your household kitty cat
Bobcats’ fur is light to reddish brown. Some bobcats are spotted. There are large tufts of fur on their cheeks that look like thick sideburns. Bobcats have short “bobbed” tails that are only 3-7 inches long (that’s how they got their name), sharp claws, and sharp teeth. Their fur changes colors throughout the seasons to enable them to blend with their surroundings.

A loner, but a good provider
Bobcats usually live alone in a territory that is from 5 to 50 miles long, and they are nocturnal so they sleep during the day. Bobcats climb trees using their sharp claws to hold on to the branches. The males mark their territory by spraying and scratching trees. The male bobcat takes on the responsibility of providing food for both the mother and the kittens.