Bobcats are part of the lynx family and typically weigh fifteen to forty pounds, which makes them larger than domestic cats and smaller than mountain lions. A bobcat’s coat is light brownish with dark spots on the flanks, legs, and sides. Other distinguishing features a bobcat has are pointed ears with black spots on the backsides, a short (bobbed) tail, and rear legs that are longer than the front legs.
Worried About Children and Pets?
Bobcat attacks are virtually unknown, but no one should attempt to touch or handle a wild bobcat. With 3-5 million people in the US attacked by domestic dogs a year, a child is much more likely to be hurt by a domestic dog than a bobcat or a coyote.
Bobcats prey on small animals, including mice, rats, squirrels, feral cats, and rabbits. It is unlikely that a bobcat will take free-roaming cats or small dogs; but for extra safety, you can ensure your fence is in good repair and tend to your pet while they are outside. To help discourage bobcats from your property, do not leave pet food (including bird seed) outside, remove fallen fruit, and clean up dense vegetation and large wood piles that provide hiding places.
If you see a bobcat or a coyote while out walking, scare it by clapping loudly or yelling. It is much safer for us, our pets, and the wildlife if they remain fearful of humans.