Of course, bobcats can swim because all cats can swim from the smallest to the largest and from domestic to wild. In fact, they are at least competent and sometimes excellent swimmers (e.g. the tiger) although some species are slightly better than others. And some wild cat species like water more than others. For instance, the tiger likes water while the lion puts up with it. The tiger can swim for miles while the lion swims across a large river.
There is not much more to say because I have answered the question but I can extract a quote from my reference book, Wild Cats of the World, which states:
“They can also swim well but do not often venture freely into water, although a captive pair of kittens readily took to water to catch fish, to defecate, and simply to play.”
The observation about being reluctant to venture into water reminds me of the domestic cat. They, too, can be reticent about getting immersed in water but when in water they swim instinctively and very competently. All cats are very, very similar, including the domestic cat and the tiger. Compare them and at a fundamentally you won’t see much difference.
The information about bobcats swimming comes from J. Joakum’s suitably titled work: Observations on Bobcat-water relationships published in 1964.
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