The Bobcat remains a lasting symbol of the great North American wilderness, an adept cat capable of surviving in many environments. As a household pet, the Bobcat serves as an energetic, loyal, and fascinating companion.
Bobcats are compact in size but are nonetheless powerful and graceful. These cats exhibit very playful attitudes, loving to climb and run, especially as kittens. Bobcats are very fond of swimming and should be allowed a pool for exercise and play. These cats should also have a large fenced enclosure of their own complete with climbing opportunities. Bobcats will need plenty of fresh air and opportunities to be outside, especially as they mature. The Bobcat is very territorial and will mark his territory with smells, especially spraying. If you cannot accept spraying you should reconsider a Bobcat as a pet. In the wild, Bobcats are highly adaptable in climate and prey. The Bobcat prefers to build dens in protected thickets, hollowed trees, or caves. In the wild, the Bobcat's primary prey consists of rabbits, birds, and rodents. Bobcats are also known to hunt deer, snakes, and opossum, depending on the climate, food availability and location. These cats hunt either at day or night, a solitary, stealthy hunter. The Bobcat's sharp canine teeth allow for rapid, powerful biting. As with all wild cats, in captivity fresh meat is required in the diet for optimum health, although commercial big cat diets have been used successfully with Bobcats. Zoological vitamin supplements can help ensure a healthy, balanced diet for the Bobcat. Most owners strongly recommend adding calcium supplements if boneless meats are being fed. Thanks to sharp claws and canines, Bobcats can be destructive and potentially dangerous with owners. For this reason it is very important that any prospective owners understand the specific needs of a Bobcat before considering them for purchase. They are not for everyone. Bobcats can be very affectionate and have a distinctive language of purrs and mews. These cats can often be very shy around strangers, usually only attaching themselves to a single person or family. Transferring a Bobcat to another owner is a difficult and usually unsuccessful, so a Bobcat should be considered as a lifetime commitment.
The Bobcat is relatively small cat, ranging from two to four feet in length. It has a short stubby tail four to eight inches long. Bobcats usually weigh between 10 and 30 pounds. The cat's coat can range from a light tan to brown, depending on the time of year. Bobcat fur is dense and soft. Bobcats molt twice annually, the summer and winter coats differing in color and pattern. The Bobcat's coat is decorated with black or brown spots that occur in random patterns. Their tails and ears usually have black markings; the tail has a black tip, and the ears have black markings on the back. Sometimes the ears will also have a black tuft if hair. Bobcats have tufted, haired feet with five digits on the front and four on the rear. The presence of the tufts may be a biological adaptation making them exceptionally quiet when stalking their prey.
Known as a highly adaptable species, the Bobcat roams from southern Canada to central Mexico and across the United States. It is estimated that there are nearly one million Bobcats in the wild, a highly successful number for wild cats in North America. The Bobcat continues to survive despite human intrusion into natural hunting grounds and demand for his soft fur. One of the smaller cats in the genus "Felis," this cat is not as shy to live around humans as his larger feline relatives.