About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Utah Today's Trapper Course . Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Trapper Education Certification Card.

Learn More Register for the Course

  • A member of the cat family, the bobcat is a predator that is found only in North America. This is a solitary animal that only comes together with other bobcats to breed.
  • Its mottled fur is tawny but turns grayish in winter. It has a short head and prominent ears with short tufts of hair. Like other cats, it has sensitive whiskers. The tip of its short tail is black on top and white below.
  • The bobcat is a good climber but spends much time on the ground, hiding in places where its coloring provides camouflage.
  • This predator marks its territory with urine, feces, scent from its anal glands, and scratches.
  • When a bobcat kills smaller prey, it eats the entire animal. With larger prey, the bobcat stores the extra food in a cache and comes back later to finish it. If necessary, this member of the cat family can fast until it finds food. It generally lies in wait for its prey.
  • This animal's den can be found in a cave or crevice, under a rock ledge, in a hollow log, under a fallen tree, in a pile of brush, or in a similar protected location.
  • When born, the young already have spotted fur. They open their eyes when they are about 10 days old. Although the mother weans them at two months, the young stay with her until they are about one year old. After being born in the spring, bobcats begin hunting for their own food in the fall.
Bobcat range map
Bobcat Range
Bobcat tracks
Bobcat Tracks

Bobcat Facts

  • Mating: polygamous.
  • Breeding period: February to March.
  • Gestation period: 50 to 60 days.
  • Birth period: late April to early May.
  • Litters per year: 1.
  • Number of young: 1 to 7 per litter; average 2 or 3.
  • Age females can breed: 1 to 2 years.
  • Adult weight: 10 to 68 pounds; average of 15 pounds for female and 28 pounds for male.
  • Life expectancy: less than 10 years; average of 3 to 5 years.
  • Feeding time: nocturnal.
  • Movement: usually stays within 2 miles of its home but can vary due to seasons, its sex, and availability of prey.
  • Typical foods: usually small- to medium-sized animals, including rabbits, mice, squirrels, woodchucks, opossums, raccoons, foxes, and others; sometimes deer and birds.