Scientific name: Lynx rufus

Nicknames: Bay Lynx

Physical Attributes

Bobcats usually grow to be twice the size of the average domestic cat. They grow to be about 4 feet in length and weigh somewhere between 11 to 30 pounds. Bobcats are named after their short “bob-tails” which grow between 2 to 8 inches long. Their coats tend to be among the spectrum of dark-orange, brown and/or pale grey with dark spots on their legs and chest.

Life Span

The average life span of a bobcat in the wild is 10 to 12 years, while in captivity the average is 32 years.


In North Carolina:

In the forest, pine stands and swamps provide great habits for bobcats in eastern North Carolina. In the Appalachian Mountains, piles of rock, hollowed trees, and masses of uprooted trees tend to be used as dens by bobcats.

Throughout the U.S.:

Similar to their North Carolina habitats, rock piles or broken rocky ledges and hallowed-logs are used by bobcats for rest areas and natal dens. In Massachusetts, one of the four most densely populated states in the nation, the historic range of the bobcat has always been the western two-thirds of the state, which provides habitat where ledges are fairly common. In southern states a habitat study found that bottomland hardwood forests were the most preferred habitat by bobcats.

Conservation Status

Only the Mexican bobcats are endangered due to their threat to surrounding sheep and livestock.

Similar Species

The Eurasian Lynx and Canadian Lynx are felines most similar to the bobcat species.