Bobcats
 

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Home Up Bobcats Lynx Desert Lynx

We are no longer breeding or selling bobcats, lynxes, or wolfdogs as pets.  If you are planning to bring a bobcat or lynx kitten or a wolfdog pup into your life, and feel you are equipped to provide a good home, we would be happy to recommend some responsible breeders for you to contact.  We will be involved with rescues of wildlife and exotic pets when needed.  If we know of animals in need of foster or permanent homes, they will be posted on the available page. If you are interested in being a foster or permanent home please contact us.

Bobcat Facts:

Scientific Name: Felis Lynx Rufus

Weight: 6-14 kilograms, average.

Length: 61 to 79 centimeters

Tail length: 11-20 centimeters

Height: 45 to 58 centimeters at shoulder, males are generally larger than females, bobcats in the North are generally larger than the subspecies in the south 

Description:  Closely related to the lynxes, the bobcat has tufted ears and somewhat of a facial ruff. They however, tend to be smaller than the lynxes, with more muscular bodies, and their legs are proportionally more slender and the feet are also relatively much smaller. Again, unlike the lynx, the pads of the feet are not covered with hair. The tail, from which the species gets its name, is tipped with black, but unlike lynxes it is white on the underside. Bobcats do not have anterior upper premolars. Bobcat coats are various shades of buff-brown and are marked with dark spots. The fur on the back is usually darker and the crown of the head is streaked. A white central spot provides a contrast on the back of the black ears. Some melanistic and albinistic specimens have been observed. Bobcat fur is thick and soft and much in demand by the fur industry.  Also known by the name of lynx cats in the fur industry, the pelts are used for coats and jackets and for trimming other fur garments, but it does not wear as well as the fur of mink or sable.  The largest bobcats have been recorded from the northern outposts of their range and, conversely, the smallest in southernmost areas.   

Food Sources:  Cottontail rabbits in the south of their range, and snowshoe hares in the north. But unlike the lynx, the bobcat is less of a specialist, as various rodents contribute an important part of their diet. They will also hunt and eat birds when the opportunity arises. Despite their small size, bobcats can be effective predators of large adult ungulates, especially deer.  Young fawns are also particularly vulnerable. Bobcats will also scavenge ungulate carcasses killed by other predators   

Geographic Distribution: 

 

 

The bobcat is confined almost exclusively to the contiguous 48 states of the USA.  The range extends south into Mexico to the river Mescale at 18 North Latitude and north to 50 North Latitude in Canada. In the Rockies they extend slightly further north. Bobcats are found in pine forests, mountainous regions, semi-deserts and scrublands, and subtropical swamps. They are unable to survive on the treeless Canadian prairies, or at altitudes higher than 3,600 meters. They climb trees and rocky areas as refuges.  Bobcats have been observed to have moved north to fill the areas formerly occupied by lynxes. The distributions of the two species overlap. The smaller animals show much greater adaptability when there is a food shortage, because they wander more and require less. Although they are shy and secretive, bobcats are more tolerant of human presence than lynx.  Bobcats and lynx have been experimentally interbred for the fur industry, but do not normally interbreed in the wild. However in 2003, research scientists verified evidence of hybridization between wild Canada lynx and bobcats in Maine through DNA analysis.  The presence of kittens with a lynx-hybrid female, indicates that these hybrids can reproduce.  In some of the smaller cat species, when hybridization occurs, female hybrid offspring are generally fertile, while male offspring are infertile.  This may be the case with bobcat-lynx hybrids, but the Maine study made no such conclusions in the August 2003 media release.  The idea of bobcat domestic hybrids has been the point of much debate, speculation, and lore. Although breeding has been witnessed and photographed between captive bred bobcats and domestics, as of yet, there is no scientific proof that bobcat domestic hybrids exist. 

Age at Sexual Maturity: Females mature at 9 to 12 months but normally do not breed until their second year.  Males are able to reproduce generally at 1.5 years.  

Breeding season: Breeding peak late winter (Feb-Mar), birth peak early spring (Apr-May), but in the south of their range litters have been recorded from every month of the year. Estrus is 5 to 10 days with an estrus cycle of 44 days.  Female bobcats generally have one litter per year, but can rebreed and produce another litter if a first litter is lost. 

Gestation:  50 to 70 days, with an average of 62 days 

Litter size:  1 to 8 kittens, Younger females produce smaller litter sizes than older adults. Offspring generally stay with their mother until the next years breeding activity occurs.

Lifespan:  12-13 years in the wild, 25-33 years in captivity

Conservation Status: When trade in most of the spotted cat skins was banned under Appendix I of the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the bobcat and lynx became targets for furriers. Bobcats are now on Appendix II which allows licensed international commerce. Bobcats continue to be sought after for their fur, with trapping seasons established throughout their range, and some states allowing propagation and pelting for the fur trade. More than 140,000 pelts were recorded as traded in 1980.  Hunting quotas are strictly enforced in the United States so bobcat populations remain relatively numerous. There are many in captivity. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) do not consider the bobcat to be significantly threatened.

References:  Wild Cats of the World, authors Mel and Fiona Sunquist, published 2002.;  IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group http://lynx.uio.no/lynx/catsgportal/cat-website/20_cat-website/home/index_en.htm; and The Cat Survival Trust, http://members.aol.com/cattrust/bobcat.htm; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Northeast Region Media Release, August 2003, http://www.fws.gov/northeast/lynxhybr.html

 

 

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Our New Addition

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