A glimps into the world of wildlife rehabilitation…the world through a rehabber's eyes.

Bobcats: Myths, Legends, and Truths


Question: Can a bobcat kill a large dog?

Answer: The chances of a 30lb (an exceedingly large individual for this area) bobcat killing a 40-70lb dog are extremely unlikely. Not only will most large dogs out-weigh (and therefore out muscle) a bobcat by a significant amount, but this sort of behavior is just not in the nature of a bobcat. Think of a house cat. Have you ever heard of or seen a house cat attack (not in play) or kill something say the size of a raccoon or a cocker spaniel? Bobcats are still felines, and still extremely unlikely to attack or kill anything larger than a quail, a rabbit, a snake, rats, mice, or squirrels (one of their favorite foods).

Question: Will a bobcat eat my small dog?

Answer: Chances are, no. Unless the animal is starving or lost, or some other extreme situation, they are going to leave all of your family pets alone. That still does not mean your pets should have free rein outside. If you are seeing bobcats, there is also plenty of other wildlife in the area. One of the biggest culprits for small pets disappearing is actually owls and hawks. You should always practice responsible pet ownership. We have bred our small companion dogs to be just that. Companions. This also means they depend on us for food, water, shelter, and protection. This means that if they are outside, we should be outside with them.

Question: Will bobcats attack my children?

Answer: No! Bobcats are common in most of our urban environments. Chances are, you have them in your neighborhood. If bobcats were attacking small children (or any other humans), that would definitely make the news! The reality is that bobcats have grown up all around us. Just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there, and just because you have seen one is no cause for alarm.

“I heard that a bobcat chased and killed a deer”. I have heard this as well, and even seen a photo supposedly of a bobcat tackling a deer. The photo I saw was that of a cougar, not a bobcat. While a bobcat may have the ability to take down a small fawn, they generally will not expend that kind of energy. The only bobcats brave enough to tackle prey of that size are those that are starving and can not find anything else. Remember: The largest prey a bobcat generally handles is no bigger than a cottontail rabbit.

Bobcats are non-agressive, curious, intelligent, and elusive. We are working hard to help dispel some of these and other misconceptions and misinformation about this species. We always welcome questions, and will do our best to provide answers. Have a question? Leave me a comment or shoot me an email!

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