bobcat Lynx rufus
What is a Bobcat?
A bobcat is a mammal. Like all mammals, it has four limbs (legs). It has hair (fur). Its body temperature is kept at the same level regardless of the outside temperature. Its young are born after developing inside the mother's body in a special organ called the uterus. After birth, the young are fed with milk produced in the female’s mammary glands. It has a complex brain.
What Does It Look Like?
Its sides and back are a mix of gray, brown and tan with dark streaks and spots. The belly is white or tan with black spots. The tail has a black tip. Its short, pointed ears have tufts of black hair on the tip.
How Big is It?
The adult bobcat has a head‐body length of 25 to 35 inches. Its tail is about five inches long. It weighs 15
to 30 pounds.
Where Does It Live?
The bobcat may be found statewide in Illinois. It lives in wooded bluffs, rolling hills with open fields, brushy ravines or bottomland forests.
How Does It Reproduce?
Mating occurs February through April. Young are born after a gestation period of about two months. Litter size is one or two. Young can live on their own at about two months of age.
What Does It Eat?
The bobcat is a carnivore that eats cottontails (Sylvilagus floridanus), squirrels, mice and birds. It may eat carrion if other food is not available.
Does Anything Eat It?
Bobcat kittens (young) are eaten by large owls, coyotes (Canis latrans), dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and foxes. Coyotes and dogs can kill the adults but do not regularly prey on this species. Collisions with vehicles are a major cause of death for adult bobcats. There is also a hunting season for them.
What Else Should I Know About It?
- The bobcat has very good senses of eyesight and hearing.
- It is a good climber. It is a good climber.
- It is mostly nocturnal and solitary.
- It can hiss, growl, snarl or scream.
Can I Hunt It?
The bobcat may be legally hunted in Illinois following all relevant laws and regulations. Specific hunting information about the bobcat is included in the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.