The bobcat is one of the most common wildcats in North America, and is named for it’s short stubby tail, such as you would see in a domesticated Manx cat. They are a medium size, with a height of around 18 to 24 inches at the shoulder and a length of 24 to 40 inches from nose to tail.
Adult males weigh in at approximately 15 to 30 pounds, and females, being a bit smaller, tip the scales at 10 to 20 pounds. According to the latest research, 725,000 to 1,020,000 bobcats still range the earth.
In the past, bobcats ranged throughout North America, from the southern part of Canada into northern Mexico, however in the early part of the 20th century bobcat numbers dwindled because of the value of it’s fur.
In the 1970’s many international laws began to protect the spotted cats of the world and since then, the population is stable in most northern states and is growing in many others.
Bobcats are fairly versatile in their habitat, and will range from forest and mountainous regions to brushland or even semi-desert.
With their natural camoflauged fur, ranging from shad of tan to brown fur, and spotted or lined markings of dark brown or black, they are among the best hunters of all the North American cats.
They show the utmost patience when stalking, often remaining motionless for long periods of time before dispatching their prey with one sudden leap.
Bobcats are very solitary and territorial animals, a female will never share territory, while male’s sometimes overlap a bit.
These territories are established by scent markings, and are quited varied in size, being around 20 to 30 square miles for males, and 4 to 6 square miles for females.
Within this territory, each bobcat may have several dens, one main, and several auxiliary. A main den is a cave or rock structure, and is also called the natal den. Auxiliary dens are located in the less traveled portions of the rand and may be brush piles, or stumps.
The mating season for these beautiful cats is normally in late winter, but is possible at any time of the year.
The gestation period is similar to domesticated cats, being from 50 to 70 days. The kittens are born in early spring and usually number from 2 to 6.
At around 2 months of age the kittens begin eating solid food, and learn to hunt at about 5 month of age. Around the age of 9 to 12 months the mother will eject them from her home territory.
Bobcats can be found in a variety of geographies, including desert areas like the Grand Canyon National Park.