This page deals with bobcat sounds (vocal communication) and extends to other forms of communication, which are visual marks and olfactory signals.
These forms of communication inform others of the cat’s occupation of a territory and helps to avoid encounters with other cats. They can also bring bobcats together. Communication through scent and sight is wide ranging. Some forms of communication through sound are as follows.
Females in heat (estrus) can provide vocal signals to males. It is not clear if they call more often. The video below is said to be by a female in heat signalling that situation.
One well known sound that the bobcat makes is caterwauling, which is long distance calling and part of the range of meows the bobcat can make (hear bobcat caterwauling). It is intended to bring bobcats together for mating. It can be heard from about a mile away and is one of about 12 sounds that the bobcat makes. It is a short, intense, high pitched call made at regular intervals. The bobcat also makes sounds that are both common to all cats and particular to the bobcat:-
- wah-wah (is this sound a form of wah-wah: Bobcat Sound)
These are audio files you can play here. Just click on the play button to the left of the bar. They are both bobcat growls:
These are non-vocal forms of communication:
- urine deposits (males and females: sprayed onto vertical objects or onto the ground). These are renewed in rainy weather.
- anal gland secretions.
- faeces (sometimes in the same area to form a “toilet”).
- scent marking increases in the mating season and can advertise sexual receptiveness.
Non scent marking:
- scrapes (backward scraping of hind paws).
- scratching a tree or log. This leaves a mark and scent.
These marks are made:
- on trails
- paths etc
- possibly to mark out territory boundaries
This page has been republished 2019 and was first published 2012.
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