Bobcats are one of the most popular animals in North America. They are very cute and can look like large domestic cats to the untrained eye. However, remember they are wild animals and should be treated as such. And just how big is a bobcat anyway?
How Big Is a Bobcat?
So, just how big is an average bobcat? Bobcats can range in size from 15 to 30 pounds, with males typically being larger than females. However, there are four different subspecies of bobcat, so the size can vary slightly among them.
The largest bobcat ever officially recorded was 52 pounds and what shot by a hunter in Wisconsin. That is a big bobcat! The largest on record prior to that was 48.84 pounds that had been trapped back in 1984. Remember these are the largest on record however! In comparison to most other wild felines such as mountain lions, leopards, jaguars, etc, they are much smaller.
What Do Bobcats Weigh?
Bobcats typically weigh between 13 and 30 pounds, though some can grow up to 40 pounds or more (see record above!). Adult male bobcats are usually larger than adult females, but there is little difference in size between the two sexes.
As we stated, bobcats are relatively small compared to other felines, such as lions and tigers. However they are much larger than domestic cats. While average house cats may only weigh around 10 pounds, a bobcat can weight almost four times that amount!
Even still, when fully grown they only stand about 2 feet tall at the shoulder (about the same height as a large domestic dog) making them much smaller then their big feline cousins.
Are There Different Types of Bobcats?
Yes, there are up to 13 subspecies of wild bobcats, although that is up for some debate. There are really only 2 main subspecies in North America. These are the Lynx Rufus Rufus which are found in the eastern and midwestern United States, and the Lynx Rufus Fasciatus which are found west of the great plains.
Do Male and Female Bobcats Differ in Size?
The average bobcat is about twice the size of a house cat. Male and female bobcats do not differ significantly in size, although females tend to be slightly smaller than males. When looking at male and female bobcats it’s hard to tell them apart because they look so similar.
The main difference between the two is that females tend to be smaller in stature than their male counterparts. Even though they may not appear much different in size, there can be up to a 20% weight difference between genders!
Males also have larger home ranges than females which means they require more food sources leading them to weigh more on average than their sisters. Another interesting fact is that despite having shorter tails, males actually have bigger feet than females! So the next time you see a bobcat, take a close look and see if you can tell which gender it is. Chances are, if it’s a big male he’ll be strutting around with his chest puffed out whereas the females will be more timid and shy.
Physical Differences Between Bobcats and House Cats
Bobcat sightings are very rare, but if you do come across one you’ll want to be able to identify these solitary animals. When it comes to quick identification from a distance, which is always a good choice when you could be dealing with a wild feline, you’ll want to focus on the physical differences.
The size of a domestic cat is about 9-10 pounds. They have short legs and a long body with a short tail.
Bobcats, on the other hand, are much larger. They weigh anywhere from 15-35 pounds or more and have long legs and a shorter body with a short tail.
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the other physical differences between these two felines.
- Tail – One of the easiest ways to tell a bobcat apart from a house cats or feral cats is by looking at the tail. House cats have a long tail that is about one-third the length of their body. Bobcats have a much shorter tail that is about one-fourth the length of their body.
- Legs – Another way to tell these two felines apart is by looking at the legs. Bobcats have long legs that allow them to jump great distances. House cats have shorter legs.
- Ears – Bobcats also have tufts of black fur on their ears that are not present on house cats. Their ears are also slightly more rounded than the typical house cats.
- Face – Another physical difference between bobcats and house cats is the face. Bobcats have a black “bar” across their face that is not present on house cats. This black “bar” is actually a line of black fur that runs from the corner of the bobcat’s mouth to the corner of their eyes.
- Fur – Bobcats have spotted coats with black spots, which although can be found on domestic cats, is much less common.
- Paw Size and Tracks – the tracks of bobcat kittens can often be mistaken for house cats, but once bobcats reach the axe of sexual maturity their paws are MUCH bigger than a house cats. Adult bobcat tracks should obviously be too big for a house cat. Bobcat tracks are between 2-2.5 inches wide, which is 2 to 2.5 times as wide as a house cats. As bobcats live in a variety of habitats their larger paws come in handy in some of their colder habitats for traversing deep snow during the winter months.
As you can see, there are several physical differences between bobcats and house cats. So, the next time you’re trying to identify a feline friend from a distance, remember to look for these key characteristics.
Typical Range of an Adult Bobcat
The home range size of bobcats can vary. Most adult bobcats have a range of about 10 square miles. This means that they will travel up to 10 miles from their home base in search of food or mates.
However, some bobcats have been known to roam much further distances – up to 25 or even 30 miles from their home base!
Interestingly, the size of a bobcat’s range often depends on the availability of prey and other factors such as competition from other predators and bobcat populations in the area.
For example, if there are plenty of rabbits, snowshoe hares, mice or other small mammals around, a bobcat may only need to hunt over a small area and therefore won’t need to wander too far from its den (typically made in hollow trees, rock shelters or dense brush piles).
On the other hand, if prey is scarce or there are many competing predators in the area (such as coyotes), a Bobcat may need to expand its hunting grounds in order to survive.
In general, adult males tend to have larger ranges than females (particularly during breeding season) because they must cover more ground in order to find willing mates.
Additionally, juvenile bobcats also typically have larger ranges than adults since they are still learning how to hunt effectively and haven’t yet established their own territories.
Most adult bobcats weigh between 15 and 30 pounds, though some males can get as large as 40 pounds. Females tend to be smaller, with an average weight of 20 pounds. Fully grown bobcats typically measure between 2 and 3 feet long from nose to tail.
A bobcat is a smaller sized wild cat, typically measuring about twice the size of a large house cat. In terms of comparison to dogs, depending on the breed and size of dog, a bobcat would be considered similar in size to perhaps a small terrier or toy poodle.
Some larger breeds of dogs such as labs or golden retrievers could outweigh a bobcat by 50 pounds or more.
Bobcats are not aggressive animals by nature. However, if they feel threatened or cornered, they may lash out in self -defense.
Bobcats typically only attack humans if they are rabid. If you see a bobcat exhibiting strange or aggressive behavior, it is best to stay away and contact animal control or the wildlife service immediately.
A bobcat is a medium sized cat, approximately twice the size of a house cat. They can weigh anywhere from 15 to 35 pounds, with males being larger than females on average.
Their body length typically ranges from 20 to 30 inches long, and they have a tail that adds another 6 to 8 inches onto their overall length.
So while there isn’t an exact one-to-one comparison between the two types of cats, generally speaking, a bobcat is much larger than a standard house cat.
Bobcats are relatively small when compared to other felines, typically weighing between 15 and 30 pounds. However, they are still a formidable predator in their own right.
Males are usually slightly larger than females. So, next time you see one of these beautiful creatures in the wild, remember that they may be smaller than some of their cousins but they are still fierce predators!