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Utah Field Guide: Bobcat

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The bobcat is the most common wildcat in North America. Named for its short, bobbed tail, the bobcat is a medium-sized cat and are slightly smaller but similar in appearance to their cousin, the lynx.

Their coats vary in color from shades of beige to brown fur with spotted or lined markings in dark brown or black.

The bobcat, occurs from Mexico to southern Canada and is fairly common throughout Utah, although individuals are rarely seen due to the secretive nature of the species.

Bobcats prefer areas with thick undergrowth, and can be found in deserts, mountains, and numerous other types of habitat. They are primarily active at night and seek shelter in rocks, trees, or hollow logs when inactive. Bobcats are typically solitary except when breeding. Each bobcat may have several dens, one main den and several auxiliary dens, in its territory that can span 25-30 square miles for males and about five square miles for females.

Females may give birth to one to seven kittens during the spring; the young will stay with their mother until fall. Both parents feed the young while the kittens remain in the den.

The bobcat mainly hunts rabbits, but are also known to eat rodents, birds, bats and even adult deer. For more information on the bobcat or any other critter found in Utah, check our Utah Field Guide on our Outdoors page at

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