Bobcat Behavior & Habits

Bobcat Behavior & Habits

Bobcats are small-to-medium sized wild cats native to North America. Their current range extends across most of the continental United States, much of northern and central Mexico, and into southern and western Canada. Though they were nearly extinct for a time due to excessive hunting and trapping for their fur, their conservation status is now rated as “least concern” thanks to conservation efforts starting in the 1970s. Here are some behaviors and habits common to bobcats.

  • Bobcats are solitary, territorial animals. Each individual establishes a home range throughout their life based on factors such as habitat and prey availability. To mark this range for other individuals, bobcats use scent markers from their urine, feces, and scent glands.


  • Bobcats are primarily crepuscular hunters, meaning their most active times of day are around twilight and dawn. They are also opportunistic feeders, and will eat whatever rabbits, rodents, birds, insects, or deer they’re able to catch.


  • When resting, Bobcats tend to seek out secluded dens for shelter and protection. These locations may include dense vegetation, rocky outcroppings, small caves or crevices, or even abandoned structures.


  • Though they are good at climbing trees, they do not spend much time in them.


  • They spend much of the night roaming their territory and can cover several miles in a single night.



  • Bobcats mate in late winter and have a gestation period of around two months. Litters typically include two to four kittens, and these young will stay with their mother through their first winter.


  • Bobcats also make a variety of sounds. They hiss, bark, growl, purr, and can emit a startling scream that sounds remarkably like a human child.


What do Bobcats Eat?

As stated above, Bobcats are opportunistic animals that primarily eat meat. Their specific diet depends on the season and what is available in their territory.

Here are some common foods bobcats eat:

  • Rabbits
  • Hares
  • Rodents
  • Snakes
  • Lizards
  • Domestic animals
  • Birds
  • Deer