Often mistaken for other wild cats such as mountain lions, bobcats are common wild animals that can be found across the United States. They are typically twice the size of a house cat, but quite a bit smaller than a mountain lion. If left alone, the bobcat is no true threat to humans. In some instances, when angered or their habitat is threatened, a bobcat may attack.
Whether you hear their distinctive screams in the night or you begin to notice them near your property, safe bobcat control is necessary to prevent an attack.
How Can I Tell If It’s a Bobcat?
Although bobcats aren’t often seen in the cities or heavily populated suburbs of Texas due to their shy, isolated nature, there has been a gradual increase in population for several years. With their distinct features, spotting a bobcat is not all that difficult. Bobcats weigh between 15 lbs. and 40 lbs., are two or even three times the size of most domestic cats and are about half the size of a mountain lion. One distinct difference is their short bobbed-tail – mountain lions have a long non-bobbed tail.
Other distinguishing features of bobcats include:
- Body length that is 2-3 feet long
- tufted, pointed ears (with large, black spots on the backsides)
- a short, bobbed tail (4-6 inches in length)
- back legs which are significantly longer than front legs.
Bobcat Attacks – How to React
Bobcats attacking humans is uncommon, but not unheard of. They can live near populous areas without incident. When a bobcat attempts to approach a human or acts aggressive toward someone, it is most likely ill or feels threatened. Bobcats with rabies are known to attack humans. Like most animals that have been infected with rabies, bobcats often have erratic behavior, are lethargic and can be foaming at the mouth.
If you notice a bobcat behaving unusually – displaying symptoms of rabies – or has just been roaming a little to close to your neighborhood, you should contact a wildlife control professional immediately.
Even if a bobcat is rabid or is feeling threaten, it is still highly unlikely that a bobcat will attack a human. However, no one should get too close to a bobcat or attempt to touch or handle a bobcat or its kittens. It is important that children are aware of this too. Since bobcats, especially kittens, can be as small as 15 pounds, children may see them as a large house cat and will want to pick one up or play with them. Be sure that your children are aware of the potential danger of bobcats and other wildlife.
What Do Bobcats Eat?
Since most bobcats will avoid humans, they aren’t as unsociable towards house pets, livestock, rabbits and other small animals you commonly see around your property.
Bobcats naturally prey on a variety of animal species, including:
- small fawns
- wild birds
- feral cats
When deprived of their natural prey, bobcats will attempt to go after your family pet or farm animals. So, it is important to protect your pets from bobcats and other wild animals.
Here are some simple ways to protect your family, including pets, from bobcats (and other wild animals):
- Keep your pets vaccinated. Some wildlife are susceptible to diseases that can be transmitted to cats and dogs, such as feline parvo, canine distemper and rabies.
- Take extra measure to help make sure you are not attracting bobcats or other predators to your yard. Clean up brush, piles of wood, and remove any food sources.
- Tell your family to avoid bushy areas or paths near abandoned properties.
- Don’t allow your pets to roam freely outdoors.
- Before heading back home to contact your trusted wildlife control experts, be sure to scare off the bobcat or other wildlife with a loud clap or yell. They’ll be easily scared and will run off.
- Never allow your pet to play or get close to wild animals.
- Put up a fence. If your yard is already fenced, keep it well-maintained.
- Don’t leave your pets unattended outdoors for long periods of time.
- Remove any food sources on or near your property (pet food, fallen tree/plant fruit, food in waste cans.
Like most wild animals in populated areas of Texas, bobcats are not a significant threat to humans. In fact, our behavior is more of threat to some wildlife. It is important that we are aware of their habitat and behavior, and know how to use deterrents, scare tactics and exclusion methods to protect our family, pets and homes.
Have you seen a bobcat or other wild animal in your neighborhood? Protect yourself and our ecosystem by contacting Trapping USA for professional wildlife control. We’ll send out an animal control specialist who will safely and humanely remove the wild animal from your property.
Also published on Medium.Back To Blog