What is the bobcat?

Image What is the bobcat?
Florida bobcat drawing

Did you know . . .


In addition to the Florida panther, the bobcat is the only other native wild cat in the state.  Bobcats are entirely carnivorous, preying upon small animals such as rabbits, rodents, and birds.


Bobcats are much smaller than panthers, weighing only 15-35 pounds.  They also have much shorter tails with a white tip and various other markings that make them easy to distinguish from panthers.




Image Lifecycle
florida bobcat 1

In Florida, bobcats breed from August to March with the peak in February and March.  One to four young are born after a gestation period (the period in which offspring are carried in the uterus) of 50 to 60 days.  The average litter size is two to three kittens, and the young have mottled or spotted fur with more distinct facial marking than the adults, but their eyes do not open until about nine days old.  The young are weaned in about two months, but not before they are taught hunting skills by their parents.



Bobcat Habitat

Image Bobcat Habitat
Florida bobcat 2

Bobcats are territorial, but because they are smaller and hunt prey that is more abundant, they require less land area than do larger carnivores.  Home ranges vary from 5-15 square miles, with male home ranges being larger and overlapping with home ranges of several females.  Bobcats are found throughout Florida and use a variety of habitats, including urban and suburban neighborhoods.  Bobcat populations are not listed at the state or federal level as threatened or endangered.

Bobcat Trivia

Image Bobcat Trivia
trivia question mark
  • The bobcat gets it name from its short or bobbed tail.
  • Bobcats have excellent eyesight and hearing.
  • Most of the hunting done by bobcats is done at nighttime.  They are mostly nocturnal.
  • When they are hunting small prey, the bobcat waits motionless and then pounces.
  • Bobcats are good swimmers and excellent tree climbers.
  • During the daytime, bobcats prefer to rest on rocky ledges in a thicket.