species of mammal

The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a fierce cat that lives in forests, swamps, mountains, prairie, and deserts in many parts of North America. Bobcats are generally nocturnal (active at night), but can be seen at dawn and dusk. They spend the day in their den (a cave, hollow log or rock crevice). They are very good climbers and swimmers. Bobcats’ lifespan in the wild varies from 5 to 15 years. In captivity, they can live up to 18 years. Bobcats and lynxes are closely related.

Bobcat in Livermore, California, USA
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Lynx
L. rufus
Binomial name
Lynx rufus
(Schreber, 1777)
Distribution of Bobcat, 2016[1]
  • Felis rufus Schreber



The Bobcat has powerful jaws and long, pointed canine teeth. It has sharp, retractable claws, big short ears, and a spotted coat. Many bobcats have long tufts of hair at the tip of the ears that improve the cat's hearing. The brown eyes have round pupils. These graceful cats are from 24 to 40 inches (60–100 cm) long (including the tail). The stubby tail is only 4 to 7 inches (10–18 cm) long, and looks as though it was cut off (or bobbed). This is what this cat is named for. They are nocturnal (that means active at night) and elusive so they are rarely seen by humans.

Bobcats are carnivores (meat-eaters). These fast, solitary hunters eat small mammals (like rabbits, rodents, weasels and even deer), birds, and ducks, turkeys. Bobcats stalk their prey, and then pounce onto it. They can leap up to 10 feet (3 m). They can often kill their prey with one very powerful bite.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kelly, M.; Morin, D. & Lopez-Gonzalez, C. A. (2016). "Lynx rufus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T12521A50655874.