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What About Bobcat

Oct 09, 2017

What about bobcats?  No baby steps for these wild felines that stalk and pounce on unsuspecting prey.

Bobcats are larger than house cats and have longer legs and a shorter bobbed tail. They’re good swimmers and excellent climbers.

In Missouri, bobcats prefer heavy forests with thick underbrush, broken by rock outcroppings, bluffs, glades, clearings and timbered swamps.  They require an extensive range for hunting with thickets, caves and crevices for rest, shelter and dens.  

Bobcats are active all year round.  They may be up and about by day or night but they hunt primarily at dawn or dusk.  They prey mainly on rabbits, but their diet can include small rodents, squirrels, turkey, quail and deer, especially fawns.  
Bobcats rely on their keen eyesight and hearing rather than smell.

Watch bobcast in action in the "cat" videos below.

More About the Bobcat 

  • Bobcats used to live primarily in the Ozarks and the Bootheel. In recent decades they have expanded westward and northward.
  • Missouri’s habitat for bobcats has been greatly reduced by hardwood forest clearing and draining of lowlands. Populations seem to be stable.
  • As predators and scavengers, bobcats play an important role in the wildlife community.
  • Two or three kittens are born around May and June.  They will stay with the female until fall or later.  Their dens emit a strong odor.
  • Bobcat do not interact socially.  Within their ranges they can travel three to seven miles nightly.

To learn more about bobcats, visit the MDC’s Field Guide.


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