Order - Carnivora
Family - Felidae

Bobcat Description

Male bobcats are slightly larger and heavier than females. Most adult males weigh 20 to 22 pounds, while females average 18 to 19 pounds. Individuals may be much larger at times, especially in the northern states where many mature males may weigh 30 pounds. The heaviest recorded bobcat was taken in Maine and weighed 76 pounds.

Bobcats have short tails of 5 to 6 inches in length. The underside of the tail is whitish, and there is a black spot near the end of the tail. Lynx can be confused with bobcats in northern areas, but the lynx tail is totally black, top and bottom, over the entire end of the tail.

The bobcat has a face ruff of longer fur, and slightly tufted ears. The back side of the ears are dark in color, with obvious white centers.

Overall coloration is reddish, greyish or brownish on the backs, with lighter colored chins, throats, and bellies. Black spots are found on the front legs and bellies of bobcats, and some younger cats may be spotted almost all over the entire body. Spotting is less pronounced on older bobcats, which also tend to be darker in color.

Bobcats have retractable claws which do not show up in tracks. The claws are extended as the bobcat climbs a tree, catches prey, or defends itself.

Bobcat have 28 teeth, including four canine teeth. Meat is sheared off in sizes that can be swallowed whole, without chewing.

Bobcat Range
-for northeastern North America (click on map for larger image)

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