I live in Port St Lucie, Florida and my house is right up against the Savanna preserve. This morning I got a good long look at a large cat in my back yard. The animal stood about 18-22″ tall at the shoulders and was about 4′ long.
It was reddish brown in color. The tail was about 8″ long with a white tip. The ears were pointed and the most distinguishing thing was what appeared to be white horizontal bars near the tips. I was about 40′ away and the animal never looked at me.
Any idea what I may have seen?
Hi Phil, thanks for visiting and asking. The size of this cat is slightly larger than the largest domestic cat – provided you have estimated correctly.
So, if this is a wild cat it is a small wildcat and it is probably a bobcat. The size is correct and the tail at 8″ is short and the bobcat does have a white tip on the tail. The color can vary but can be reddish.
The ears are pointed because they have lynx tips (hair tufts). And they do have ocelli on the ear flap (white markings).
Also their distribution includes Florida. The only other wild cat in Florida is the much larger puma.
People say there is a Florida jaguarundi. If there is it does not look like the cat you describe.
Hope this helps.