Here are a couple of screenshots from a camera trap video in the Florida Everglades. The camera was positioned extremely well. The cat genuinely looks like a puma/bobcat hybrid. There is no escaping that conclusion. The cat is about the size of a bobcat but has the head and body conformation of a puma and the tail of a bobcat. My thanks to David who commented (see below) and pointed out the video.
And below I continue the discussion. There are two pictures of what some people have described as possible puma/bobcat hybrids. They aren’t, however, on analysis but I am open to other opinions.
A visitor made a comment on the unknown Florida Wildcat page. A neighbor of his/her saw a cat that could have been a puma/bobcat hybrid:
In the Rocky Point subdivision in Stuart, FL. small domestic cats and dogs have gone missing at a high rate. My neighbor sighted a cat bigger than a bobcat yet slightly smaller than a panther with tufted ears. It can clear a standard 4 foot fence without touching…anybody out there think it could be a fl panther, bobcat cross? Ive seen both of those cats in our large preserve.
The first question is whether a puma/bobcat cross is possible and the answer is probably: yes. Although, Sarah Hartwell has not listed the puma/bobcat or puma/lynx hybrid on her site.
I then set about seeing if I could find a picture of one! I came up with this:
This cat was photographed in Georgia, by the way, which is adjacent to, and north of, Florida. I found it on a site about hunting (horrible). One of the hunters thought it could be a puma/bobcat hybrid. The general opinion was that the cat is a large bobcat. However, this cat has little obvious resemblance to a bobcat except for the distinct bobcat tail. The face has puma markings of white fur around the mouth and in the middle the fur appears to have no tabby markings, usually spotted, which is typical of bobcats. The fur looks like the fur of a puma.
The general body conformation is quite lightweight and puma-like except the puma is more muscled especially the hind legs and rump. This cat cannot be a puma but there are some puma-like elements.
What about the ears? They are very slightly lynx tipped as per the classic lynx ears (the bobcat is part the lynx family). That tells me the cat in the picture might be a bobcat.
In addition, the ears in the picture have ocelli on the ear flap – white spots on a dark background. The puma has black fur on the black of its ears and no spots and the ears are small and rounded. The bobcat has ocelli. This confirms the cat is a large bobcat.
Also, there is a small ruff and all-in-all I have come to the conclusion that this cat is a large bobcat with an appearance that is not that typical.
The cat below is not so cut and dried:
This is a very strange looking wild cat. The cat looks larger than a bobcat. There is no tail it seems and the head is more like a cheetah’s and there is no classic bobcat ruff. This cat is not a cheetah because the chest is too small and there is no tail and its legs are too short.
Anyway this cat does not fit nicely into any wild cat species so it could be a hybrid. However, it too is probably a large bobcat. No more and no less.
For comparison here is a bobcat:
Note: On May 7th at around 06:00 I updated this page and republished it with the new date. I did so because of the very interesting additional photo I added at the top of the page.