Did you know that the most widely found wildcat in the U.S.A. is a bobcat? These cats cover the largest part of all the cats that are native to North America but are also found in Mexico and Canada. On average, these cats can live as long as 10-12 years in the wild. The scientific name of the bobcat is Lynx rufus and it truly looks like lynx, its cousin. To communicate with other bobcats, these cats make use of scent markings. Apart from scent markings, bobcats use other calls also like snorts, gurgles, spits, yowls, hisses, and chattering.
The short and bobbed tail of this feline has given it the name – Bobcat. The cat is medium in size and resembles its kin – the lynx. However, in size, the cat is smaller than the lynx. It is almost twice as big as the domestic cat. Its head is small, its face is whiskered and its legs are long. The color of their coats varies from shades of fawn to brown having lined or spotted marks of dark brown or black color.
Bobcats are carnivores and the main targets of their hunt include hares and rabbits but they equally gorge upon birds, rodents, bats, and deer. Also, they consume poultry, young pigs, insects, chickens, and lambs. The choice of prey for these cats is according to the habitat and location, availability, and season.
Bobcats are known to be nocturnal and elusive. Usually, these cats are territorial and solitary in nature. Male territories may overlap but the territories of females are never shared. These cats are great hunters and stalk their prey with patience and furtiveness. Just one huge leap and they capture their prey.
The habitat of a bobcat ranges from mountainous areas and jungles to brushland and semi-deserts. A lush green habitat housing a plethora of prey is perfect. The cat is territorial and very solitary, just as in the case of a majority of cats. To mark the territorial limits, it employs a number of methods like feces or urine deposits and claw markings.
Reproduction and Kitten Care
The breeding season of the bobcat is from the months of winter to that spring. The gestation period is of two months approximately.
When kittens turn about two months of age, they start consuming solid food. Their hunting classes commence when they turn 5 months old. At the age of 8-11 months, kittens no more remain a part of the territory of their mother.
Bobcats are killed frequently in Mexico as it is in Mexico where they prey on sheep. Apart from this, they are hunted for their fur. In the 1970s, international laws began protecting these cats. The population of these cats is now constant in several northern states and many others are witnessing their revival.
Bobcat is also known to have some rock carvings of primeval times. In addition, there are also some figures of this cat carved in small rocks that are known as fetishes. These fetishes have been found in the southwestern United States. So in a nutshell, it can be said about this wildcat that it easily captures a territory, have an abundance of food because of the variety it gobbles upon, and is undergoing protection. Thus, once a wild cat under threat has now seen its revival.
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