Do bobcats eat plants?

Do bobcats eat plants? It’s a question people ask on Google. There should be two aspects to this question. Firstly, we have to say that as bobcats eat lots of rabbits and hares or white-tailed deer, if they eat the stomach and digestive system of these animals they are going to eat plants that have been partially or completely digested by the rabbit or hare. Therefore, indirectly, bobcats eat plants.

Bobcat family sleeping in tree trunk
Bobcat family sleeping in tree trunk. Picture in public domain.
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However, it seems that based on at least one study, “plant material” is listed as representing 13.6% of the content of bobcat stomachs in Florida. The source of this information is Wild Cats Of The World page 197.

That source would indicate that bobcats do eat plants or perhaps the plant material was all from the stomachs of prey. In any case it cannot be seen to be unusual if bobcats do eat plants direct when we consider domestic cats eat plants (grass) quite a bit and the famous and dignified snow leopard deliberately eats quite a lot of plant material to improve oxygen levels in his/her blood as they live at high altitude (this is my unique thought and I could be wrong as to the reason why they eat a particular scrub).

If a visitor has further information on this topic, I’d be pleased if she/he added to the page in a comment.


7 thoughts on “Do bobcats eat plants?”

  1. There are several theories as to why cats eat vegetation.
    First, it’s known that they like the taste. Secondly, as ME pointed out, they want to purge. A lot of times, they want to have the assistance to purge hairballs.

  2. Most likely they consume grass or greens for the same reason domestic cats do. To help purge undigested prey or move things through the intestinal track. They would not however eat it to provide nourishment.

    • Absolutely. It is natural for cats to eat some (a little) vegetation for dietary reason notwithstanding that they are obligate carnivores.


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