Can bobcats climb trees? The answer is Yes.
“Bobcats are good climbers and will climb a tree if pursued by dogs or if charged seriously by deer, but they spend most of their time on the ground.”Mel and Fiona Sunquist in Wild Cats Of The World referring to Yoakum J 1964. Observations of bobcat-water relationship.
The fact that they have short tails supports the argument that the bobcat is essentially a ground dwelling cat. Tails are used for balance and as the bobcat is mainly ground dwelling the need for a tail as an aid to balance is less pressing.
Bobcats can also swim well but don’t particularly like the water. Captive kittens have been observed playing in water, defecating and catching fish (ref: Mel and Fiona Sunquist in Wild Cats Of The World referring to Yoakum J 1964. Observations of bobcat-water relationship).
Note: the fact that the bobcat is described as a ‘good climber’ should be interpreted in relation to other cats such as the domestic cat. The word ‘good’ in this context probably means ‘impressive’.