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National Bobcat Rescue
& Research
 A subsidiary of the Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch
 A 501c non-profit Oganization

The Bobcats

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Surrendering a Bobcat to NBRR:

Click here to find out how.


Is it a bobcat?

Not sure if you have a bobcat in your back yard? Identifying a bobcat (especially a bobkitten!) can be very difficult. Check out our identifying a bobcat page to see if you have a bobcat on your hands.

Bobcat Frankie

Contents

If you have other questions that are not covered here, feel free to shoot us an e-mail! getwild@crosstimberswildlife.org

Wild Bobcats

Will a bobcat eat me?

No.

Do you have any somewhat indepth information on living with the bobcats in my area?

We sure do, the The Bobcat (Lynx rufus) page explains how to stay safe in an area populated with bobcats.

A wild bobcat has been frequenting my neighborhood or property. How can I get rid of him without causing harm.

Please contact us with as much information as you can.

How can I identify a bobcat from a feral or house cat?

Visit our Identify a Bobcat page. It explains their coloring traits with photos for both adult and kitten bobcats.

I've found a bobcat! What do I do?

In all situations, finding a bobcat can be exciting and frightening. We would like to make a few suggestions to help you, and the cat(s) though this very tense time. No matter what the age is, DO NOT be tempted to touch the bobcat. Even the smallest of kittens can be highly aggressive. Holding them to comfort them may result in a bite. Bites, once reported, almost always result in the animal(s) being euthanized by animal authorities. They are required to euthanized any wild animal who has bitten a human so that they may send it's head off to be tested for Rabies. If you are bit or scratched, IMMEDIATELY contact us or your local wildlife authority.Please be SURE that the animal in question is really a bobcat! Half of the calls we receive each year turn out to be domestic feral cats. It is important that you can determine the difference, as often, when we are asked to step in, it requires hours of time out of our day. If you are not sure, please take a picture and email it to us so that we can determine if we are looking at a bobcat or a Feral cat. Please visit our Identifying a Bobcat page to see pictures to help you identify the animal you have in your care.Please do NOT be tempted to trap a bobcat simply because you fear them. Please contact us and let us tell you a little about the, answer any questions you might have, and give us the opportunity to explain why trapping a bobcat can be detrimental to both the cat and your community.

The length of time that it takes a wild bobcat to become imprinted to humans or domestic pets is EXTRAORDINARILY short! PLEASE call us AS SOON as you come in contact with a wild cat in need of assistance. The faster you contact us, the better chance the cat has of safely returning to the wild.

There are NO FEES associated with surrendering a wild bobcat. However, if you have raised the cat, and it has become imprinted and you can no longer care for it, then there are surrender fees associated. Please visit our Surrender a cat page for further information.

All Wild cats will be kept in our care for the shortest time possible and returned to protected private wild lands along the Trinity River and around some of the more rural areas of Lake Tawakoni. Our goal is to see them living free ~ not to keep them in our care. PLEASE help us by contacting us quickly so that we may insure the cat's safe return to the wild. If you have found an orphan, PLEASE DO NOT HANDLE IT, and DO NOT try to feed it. 95% of Orphans brought to us are found by nice people who believe the best thing to do is pull out that baby bottle they bought years ago for their domestic cat and feed the cute baby. They will feed it a combination of the WEIRDEST THINGS! In reality, it more often than not, causes tremendous problems and sometimes death. (See CaRo's Story). The BEST thing to do when you find an orphaned cat is to put it into a small box and call us to arrange for transport and/or Intake. REMEMBER: This is a wild animal! The mother MAY have been hit by a car - but there is a better chance that it died of Rabies, Pan Leukapenia, Cytauxzoonosis, or Toxoplasmosis. Wild Bobcats are NOTORIOUS for carrying viral diseases that are contagious to YOUR DOMESTIC PETS. The occurence of viral disease in Bobcats is MUCH more prevalent that dead bobcats found on roads. PLEASE do not assume that this is anything like a domestic kitten. IT IS NOT. Please call us TODAY and let us help get this animals back where it belongs!

Thank you for making the RIGHT decision!

Can a bobcat kill a large dog?

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).

Will a bobcat eat my small dog?

Chances are, no. Unless the animal is starving or lost, or some other extreme situation, they are not going to attack your small dog. 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.

Will bobcats attack my children?

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 as Pets

Is it illegal to have a bobcat as a pet?
Depends on the state, county, city, and homeowner's association you live in. Check your state laws, county and city ordinances, and any homeowner's association you live in.
Is it true bobcats bind for life?
Yes. Bobcats become extremely attached to their owners from a very young age and will remember them for the rest of their lives. A bobcat separated from their owner for an extended period of time will become extremely depressed for a very long time.
Why don't bobcats make good pets?
The typical bobcat is extremely strong willed and will bite or scratch when stressed, even owners attempting to help them out of a dangerous situation. The "Fight or Flight" instinct is very strong in them requardless of how long they've been a pet or how they were raised. They also spray when ever, and where ever, they so desire even if spayed or neutered. Walls, electronics, kitchen areas... It matters very little to them. They love to chew and sharpen their claws on things, couches, entertainment centers, table legs, chairs, etc. That having been said, imagine a golden retriever tearing through your home and doing a home run slide on just about every horizontal surface in your house. Everything you have of value, even stuff you hang on the walls, would need to be put away for the next twenty or so years! Depending on how they were raised, they might not like other people. It wouldn't be good for a friend to come over and end the day in the emergency room because your friend got too close to your scared cat and got bit out of fear. There are also many laws that at least require a permits, regulated enclosure standards, boundry requirements, or ban possession them out right. Finding these laws can be extremely tough and even your local law enforcement may not know about them until one of your neighbors takes exception to your little pet as with Shaka's story. Once displaced from their owner, if a shelter can be found, they'll live out the rest of their lives missing the life and people they had before. Having been captive raised, and hand fed, they never learned from their mother how to hunt and eat the bobcat way. They'll be somewhat capable of killing, but they don't realize they need eat what they kill, as food was always given to them effortlessly. Turning them loose to the wild is not an option as they'll starve a slow agonizing death not knowing how to hunt or even why. These are just a few good reasons they don't make good pets!

Wildlife Rehabilitation Education Network (WREN)

What is a BETA class?
A BETA class is a "trial" course. This was the price that the WREN classes were offered at durring the development phase. NBRR is still offering the WREN course at the BETA pricing due to our tremendous need for wildlife rehabilitators. BETA students will be required to purchase their own books. Books are not required for the course, and may be purchased on an as needed basis. Ultimately, you will want to own the books chosen for these courses. BETA sudents will also be required to sign a photo release. Pictures and video captured durring class may be used in teaching/marketing material. You will also be asked to fill out a survey on the course. The BETA class is the same course syllabus as used in the regular class, and BETA students will have priority registration on all future classes.
Do I have to have a license/permit to be a wildlife rehabilitator?
Yes. All states have some permitting requirement to allow the general public to hold, house, or rehabilitate wild animals. Since each state is different, our program is designed to comply with NWRA and IWRC. Each state's permitting requirements will be different. Our Texas Parks and Wildlife liaison will contact permitting offices for out of state students to ensure understanding of your state's permitting requirements prior to taking any courses here at NBRR. Out of country students will be handled similarly as the need arrises.
Do I have to take this course to get my permit?
No. NBRR is not a permitting entity. We are an educational facility dedicated to the TEACHING of wildlife rehabilitation. We do not make laws. Our goal at NBRR is to offer each state, country, or province an accepted program of instruction that they may choose to use as one of their permitting options. We are in no way trying to replace other tried and true methods of certification or permitting. NBRR stands highly behind the belief that all educatioin programs hold value, and no one program is the answer. We highly recommend, and for advanced students, require membership in both the NWRA and IWRC. We highly encorage all students to seek out any and all forms of education available to them in their area. Wildlife rehabilitation should be approached as a journey without a final destination. While we here at NBRR feel that the WREN project is the most comprehensive rehabilitation education program in the United States, by no means should it be considered your final education stop! NBRR is a darn good starting point though!
Do I have to take the Basics and Advanced course to get my certification?
No. There are some folks who simply want to be small level rehabbers who work with high volume species. We need you the most! The WREN basics class is designed for people who can commit to working with these animals every year out of their homes. WREN Basics students will mainly be taught to work with opossums, squirrels, and rabbits. the reasoning for this is simple. These three species are the majority of animals that are admitted into rehabilitation. Infact, the individual volumes of these three species are more than all others combined. These species also carry little to no zoonotic diseases. the risk to you, your family, and your pets is extremely minimal. Lastly, many people who are interested in wildlife rehabilitation want to work with orphaned animals. Most orphans are only going to require basic care, and more serious cases can easily be transfered to someone in your network.
Can I take the Advanced course online?
No. The Advanced course will never be offered online. The purpose of this class is to throw you, the student, into the hands on, high volume field of rehab. This is in essence, a crash course in wildlife rehabilitation. The things you will learn by actually working in the field can not be replaced by an online equivilant. As we grow, advanced courses will be taught in other locations across the USA. At the moment, the course is only offered onsite.
I have been a rehabber for years. Can I skip to the advanced course?
No. While NBRR has the utmost respect for any individual who has been in the program for any length of time, the WREN basics course is to help standardize the practice of wildlife rehabilitation and to develop networks as you go through the program. More importantly, we want you! If you are a working/permitted rehabber, and you have attended our basics and our advanced courses, through approval by our aplication process, you may be invited to participate in our trainer course to further develop your skills and bring the WREN project back to your area with you! We will pay you to teach what you learned, exactly as you have learned it here!

Visitation and Touring

Do you run tours of your facility and at what times?
No, we are not certified for touring. With the amount of animals we rehabilitate and return to the wild, it is not financialy viable at this time.
When am I allowed to visit my pet bobcat?
Visitation of the bobcat you surendered to us can be setup by appointment only, provided the visitation doesn't cause excessive stress to the animal. This allows us time to prepare the animal for the visit.