Mammals of Pennsylvania and New Jersey




Background Information

The bobcat is located throughout much of the United States and Mexico. It is the most common wild cat in North America. They have a face which looks much like cats that are house pets.

Physical Features

Bobcats range in size from 2 to 3 feet. They have a 5 inch furry tail that is black on top. They weigh between 15 to 35 pounds. They have 28 teeth.

Their fur differs in color depending on where they live. If they live in forest areas, their fur is a darker color. If they live in open areas, their fur is a lighter color. They have mostly brownish fur on their heads, backs, and legs. Their underside has more white fur with black spots. They have ears that end in sharp points

Life Cycle

Bobcats mate in the early spring. Within about two months, from 2 to 4 kittens are born. The female will build a den in a cave, hollow log, or rocky opening for her kittens. Baby bobcats open their eyes after about ten days. They stay with the mother until the fall season or until the next spring. They live between 15 to 25 years in a zoo


Bobcats live in many different kinds of habitats. They live in forests, swamps, mountains, and open areas. They have adapted well to their surroundings. They do not bother human activity.


Bobcats hunt and live alone. They have a certain territory they cover. However, the size of their hunting area depends upon the amount of small game that is available. They usually cover about 2 miles looking for prey. However, if food is scare, bobcats can wander up to 50 miles in search for food.

They prey mostly on rabbits. However, they will eat most small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They have even been known to hunt bats roosting in caves. Because they are meat eaters, bobcats are considered to be carnivores.


  © Dr. Randall Pellow, 2005