So, you want to know what a bobcat looks like, identifying a bobcat can be very confusing. Not all bobcats have the steriotypical spots you may think of. Some are smaller than others, and the kittens can be particularly hard to identify. However, all of them have traits that are the same, no matter what their size or age.
Click an area on the photo for information specific to that area.
bobcat coats vary by the individual. Some have well defined rosette spots on their bodies
some are freckled
some have no spots at all.
Bobcats often have a crisp, white lining around their eyes, but not all cats share this coloration. Bobcats have very round eyes, hazel/gold in color.
A Bobcat's Legs are proportionately longer then their front legs in comparison to the domesticated cat. These longer rear legs gives them more power for running, jumping, and quite possibly when using them as weapons.
Bobcats do not make the same sounds as the domesticated cat. Instead, they make a series of grunts, yowls, whines and growls and the patterns of these noises actually can make up a language of their own. The NBRR Director has actually pin pointed several sequences of sounds that have specific meanings which I will try to get for this page, however she is very busy caring for the animals and being so far away I cannot readily get that information. As soon as I get it, I'll post it. I can say from my experience with Shaka, a nasal whine that starts high pitch and goes low with a few grunts at the bottom is a greeting.
The Ears and Tail
Once they have reached about eight weeks of age, ALL bobcats have black ears with a distinctive white patch in the center.
Some adults may have a small tuft on the tips of their ears, though this may not always be obvious.The bobcat is named for it's tail. All bobcats have a bobbed tail, though it may be as long as 12 inches in length.
This bobcat has a longer than average tail at 10 inches long.
The tail always has a noticable black tip on it, usually with a little white spot on the very end.
Adult bobcats have a distinctive "ruff" around the face. they can decide to wear their cheeks puffy, or slicked back depending on their mood.
Kittens are the hardest to identify. The good news is that they will all look very similar. If you have a kitten, and you suspect it is a bobcat, you can view the pictures below to help you determine if the kitten you have looks like these little guys. Kittens under four weeks of age have bright blue eyes that change to green/hazel between four and five weeks. Bobkittens usually have:
- black ears with a white patch in the center
- bobbed tails with a black tip
- distinctive stripes on their foreheads, but maybe not their bodies
On this colum, there are some tabby striped kittens for comparison. Note the lack of ruffs, The face shape, and The almond shape of their eyes, as opposed to the round, domed skull shape, and roundness of the bobcat kitten's eyes.