Can bobcats be white?

Yes, bobcats can be white because they can be albino and albino bobcats are all-white. Albinism is different to white cats caused by the dominant white gene. An albino individual has a congenital absence of pigmentation through the body including the eyes which is why the eyes are pink.

Albino bobcat hunted to death in America
Albino bobcat hunted to death in America. The hunters were very impressed. Photo: Doug Smith from West Virginia
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

There only record that I have of bobcats being white are when the coloration is due to albinism. A Texas zoo kept an albino bobcat for several years as reported by S.P. Young in The bobcat of North America – 1978 (Published by Lincoln University of Nebraska Press).

I wrote a page about albino bobcats some time ago. The picture on this page comes from that article. It shows a shot albino bobcat. Am I alone in thinking that the sport hunter holding the bobcat is a complete prick? Why shoot such a rare and beautiful animal? Ah…I know, the rarer the animal the keener sport hunters are to kill it as a trophy so they can brag about in the bar over a beer. Assholes.

Can bobcats be black?
Black bobcat. Photo in public domain.

Bobcats can also be completely black. These are melanistic bobcats. They are rare too but less rare than albino bobcats, I’d say.

The normal bobcat coat is well known. The background colour varies from yellowish brown, reddish, brown or buff to a light grey. It is streaked or spotted with brown or black. The bobcat has a mottled appearance. The undersides are white, marked with brown or black bars or spots.

The fur is luxurious which is why they have been so persistently persecuted for it. It still does on today in large numbers. The pelts are used for coats and jackets and for the trimming of fur garments. Apparently bobcat fur is less durable on coats than the fur of mustelids such as sable and mink. It was highly unfortunate for the bobcat that nature gave them such beautiful fur for humans to exploit.

  1. Do bobcats eat deer?
  2. Will bobcats attack humans?
  3. Testing for a bobcat/domestic cat hybrid

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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