Yes bobcats can be black but they are very rare. I think there have been twelve reported sightings, the majority in Florida. A better description is ‘melanistic’ which is more like dark charcoal. Bobcats can’t be a jet black.
Melanistic bobcats have been reported by:
- FA Ulmer Jnr in Melanism in the Felidae, with special reference to the genus Lynx. J Mammal 22: 285-288 – in 1941
- TW Regan and DS Maehr in Melanistic bobcats in Florida. Fla. Field Nat. 18: 84-87 in 1990
Ten black bobcats have been reported in Florida. Oswald McFadden trapped a rare black bobcat on Christmas Day near Cocagne, in southeastern New Brunswick, Canada. This cat is the one in the photo above. You can see that he is not jet black but a nice solid black nonetheless.
Below is another snapshot of a black bobcat taken in Texas and uploaded to Reddit.com:
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