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Unknown Florida Wildcat — 49 Comments

  1. I saw a black cat late last night that was bigger than a house cat, even bigger than a Mainecoon, but black-very shiny fur and a very long tail. Pointed ears and it’s head was elongated like a cat. I had been sleeping when my cat went crazy! She was spitting and howling-making gut noises like I had never heard from her before. So, I look out the window and there it was, looking right back at me! I banged on the window and yelled but it did not budge. So, got the flashlight and shone it on the cat. It stood there briefly, then walked off.
    My cat has not been the same since. Won’t go out on the lanai alone at all today and I am very curious. Live in Spring Hill. Anyone else seen this thing?

  2. This Xmas in a location south of Riverside, Fl. I saw a family of jaguars merrily crossing the land the family just bought. They do it twice a day to get to a lake close by with 6 crocodile, so the neighbors say. We don’t know what species they are. Curled tail, brown with spots. size of a skinny, tall German shepard. Thank you for any information.

    • Thanks Monica for sharing this experience. The only wild cats officially in Florida are the puma and bobcat neither of which fits your description. The jaguar does not live in Florida or anywhere in the USA nowadays (except perhaps on the Mexico boarder). Thanks though.

  3. We spotted what seemed at first to be a dog. But as I got a better look it was clearly a large cat. A breed that I had not seen before. It was tan in color. And by sight alone seemed to be at least 60 lbs. As we started out the back door to future inspect… This large cat was startled and leaped the fence. Clearing it with great esse. I wanted to know if anyone else has witness such a cat??

    • Hi Amanda. Thanks for sharing. It seems that you saw a young male puma or a female puma (Florida panther). They are great jumpers and tan in color.

  4. the past week i saw a large cat lurking in my backyard , looking at photos posted online it looks like bobcat . since its breeding season i guess thats normal ? will it kill my regular housecats ? i was not that concerned as my nieghbor has chickens ? it comes around at nite . it doesnt seem be a danger to people . i am located in west st. aug. fl.

    • Hi Chuck. Thanks for commenting. And thanks for reporting a sighting of what is almost certainly a bobcat. Just be pleased that you probably saw a bobcat. You house cats are quite safe so don’t worry about that. Bobcats are not, as you say, a danger to people. It is quite the reverse. People are a danger to bobcats so just enjoy their company and I wish you well for the future and have a happy Christmas!

  5. My husband and I were riding south on A1A on Orchid Island. We saw a large definitely feline shape run across the road about 1000 feet in front of us. Longer body than a bobcat, too short to be a panther. After reading the description of the typical jaguarundi, and the sighting reports, it seems our feral population of these cats are larger than those in S. America. Both the panther and the jaguarundi are the same genus. Could they be breeding hybrids?

    • Interesting sighting, Tracy. As far as I know there are no reports of any puma x jaguarundi hybrids. It could be almost anything. First you have to be sure that it is larger than a domestic cat because sizing cats at a distance is tricky. A lot of people mistake large domestic cats for young wild cats such as pumas. In Britain people have mistaken tabby domestic cats for lions! ; ) . Then there wild cat hybrids which people like to breed and they escape etc.. Quite a few of these sightings can be hybrids (domestic x wild).

      There certainly appears to be jaguarundi in Florida! Although they are not meant to be there according to the ‘experts’.

      Thanks for posting.

  6. Saw a strange cat cross A1A yesterday somewhere between McClarty museum and Longpoint Cafe. Do not recall whether we were south or north of Sebastian Inlet bridge at the time of the sighting. Cat had head that resembled a cheetah, coat could best be described as mottled charcoal in color, size was that of a half-grown mountain lion. Had an unusual gait as it crossed the highway from west to east–almost like the hind legs were a bit longer than the forelegs. Sighting was about 3pm. Definitely was not a bobcat or mountain lion. Am very familiar with both of those animals. Any thoughts?

    • The only possibility if we are talking about a wild cat is the jaguarondi. This is a strange looking cat. Your description could fit it except for size as it is about twice the size of a domestic cat. There have been sightings of the jaguarondi in Florida before. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  7. My husband and I were driving today on A1A near the border of Fort Pierce and Jenson Beach. It was about 4:00PM. We saw a dark gray large animal run across the highway towards the ocean. It was the shape of a cat but triple the size of a normal cat. Could it be a panther? I would love to know if anyone else has seen this animal

    • Hi Mary. Tripe the size of a domestic cat makes him 30+ pounds in weight which is too small for an adult Florida panther but it could have been a subadult (a youngster) or perhaps a bobcat. Thanks for sharing.

  8. It was late at night, I saw an animal, cat like with slender body , big ears, fluffy tail, but little larger than a cat. It was brownish in color n ran around quickly, digging a little in the pineneedles. Im in osteen, fla. Area. Any ideas??

    • Hi Lori. It is very hard to say what you saw but you probably realise that domestic cats come in a variety of sizes and some domestic cats are very large at over 20 pounds in weight, for instance. In fact, some can be even larger than that so they can look like dogs in terms of size. Accordingly, I would expect that you saw a cat. Maine Coon cats have fairly big ears and fluffy tails and they are large cats as well. Thanks for visiting and asking.

  9. Regarding the comment C. Tyler made several years ago, I’d visited Florida this past may and encountered a cat that fit that description perfectly. At first, I thought it was a domestic cat, but when I approached it- I realized it was much bigger than a domestic cat. The paws on it were enormous, the tale was very long and when it came close enough for me to touch it and it “purred”- it sounded more like a very deep rumble than a domestic cat purr. I have been trying to figure out what it was ever since.

    • Your description fits that of a young puma. They can and do purr like domestic cats. They have long tails and large paws. I presume the coat was not tabby-like (no spots etc.). Great sighting. How far from the cat were you?

  10. We saw a very large cat-like animal in our Citrus County, Florida back yard on June 1, 2014. It was slate gray in color, and had a very long tail and was quite slender but appeared in very good health. It ran quickly up into the woods and I have not seen it again. It probably weighed about 20-25 pounds from what I can estimate.

    • My gut feel is that this might have been a jaguarundi although they are around 15 lbs. They are not meant to be in Florida but there have been some sightings as I recall. Either that or possibly an escaped f1 wild cat hybrid such as the Chausie (jungle cat x domestic cat). Thanks for sharing.

  11. 5 /16/14
    I Live in Bradenton Florida, around 7:30pm dusk I witnessed a Brownish Bobtailed Cat around 2ft tall and 3ft in length walking through my backyard. I am not a fan of wild animals so needless to say I am not excited. This all new to me being from less rural areas of the united states. I was weird out by the otters but this was more disturbing thankfully I have a screened porch so its like being at the zoo and at a safe distance.

  12. Here’s a not so good picture taken by my phone thursday at the Kohls parking lot at about 6 pm. in Tallahassee by Chiles High School. Apparently it has been frequenting this area quite a bit. Certainly not a bob cat by the size of the tail.

    • Hi Liz, this cat looks like a F1 Savannah cat. The size is about right. The long legs and slender body are correct. The coat looks like a tabby although it is hard to tell. The head is small. These are all elements of the Savannah cat. The size indicates first generation. Or an F2 (second generation). I am guessing but that is a fair guess. The cat is a domestic cat and probably an indoor cat that escaped. Someone should go up to him/her and take charge by taking the cat home (perhaps on a leash or in a carrier) and find the owner. Don’t let the police know because they’ll shoot the cat. And take her to a shelter. Shelters are, in general, too dangerous. The owner should be not too far away. That is my advice.

      Thanks for sharing and the photo, Liz and have a Happy Christmas.

  13. Strange is the cat world and after seeing a pair together twice of what a long time hunter can only look upon as weird was a coon shaped cat with no neck or tail with coon-tail vertical stripes on it’s body. The jaw range of a sabre-tooth when it yawns! I have found nothing on these cats after five years! Did see a number of bobcats that year, one of which was a striped dark colored and was tall in the front and down in the rear! Not creeping! Haunting is the only way to describe these sightings! We have cougars, panthers, mountain lions, ring-tailed cats, and bobcats in north Louisiana. And now a new breed hunting in pairs! A flat-faced, tailless, coon-cat much larger than a large coon. A guess of poundage 45-50lbs. Body of a coon with a large flat faced cat head. No tail and large vertical stripes of coon tail colors! Seen by others also!

    • Yes, Melvin quite a lot of people, including me, would agree with you. I don’t think this cat, as shown in Diane’s comment above, is a species of wild cat.

  14. 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.

    • Thanks for visiting and sharing. The first question is, “is it possible for a bobcat and puma (Florida panther) to mate and produce a hybrid wild cat?”. The answer appears to be, Yes. Your saw a wild cat that may fit the description of a hybrid. For the time being that is all we have. I wish we had more.

  15. The large (not domestic) cat was sighted between two buildings. My sister was behind me and she saw it too. I was on North Hutchinson Island in Ft Pierce.

    • Robyn, could you talk to your sister again, and see what you both agree that you saw, specifically, and what you disagree on, in terms of physiology? I know this sounds stupid, but sometimes it helps. I’d really like to hear more.

        • And sometimes, Robyn, when the adrenaline is rushing, in both you and the cat, you’re both scared, you may even question what you saw. I don’t think that you should. That’s when it’s necessary to take the time to really image what you saw. anything stand out to you? That is what I would ask of anyone who had a sighting… Not only what you saw, but WHAT stood out in your mind?

          Hope that you reply.

  16. I motioned for my sister to see the very large cat, as it was between two apartment buildings and she was behind me. She also commented that it was not a regular domestic cat, as it was double the size of a cat.

  17. I was on North Hutchinson Island in Ft Pierce today (April 8,2013) and saw a grey and white striped cat (about the size of a cougar). His ears had tufts of fur at the tips of them. He was not a domestic cat. He was spotted on A1A. He had a long tail. Does anyone know what kind of species he was?

    • This cat should be a bobcat but you say this cat has a long tail. There is no wild cat species with that description in North America with a long tail 😉 Sometimes, with the best of intentions, people can misjudge a cat’s size from a distance. There are many instances of large tabby cats being mistaken for tigers! And black moggies being mistaken for blank panthers!

      My gut feeling is you have seen a large tabby cat. Or failing that suggestion this cat has a short tail and is a bobcat. You are describing a Maine Coon cat actually and they are large and rangy domestic cats. They are the largest domestic cat in North America. That is my guess.

    • I live on N Hutchinson island in ft pierce and while biking in Jack island preserve saw an adult and 2 kittens wildcats. The adult was charcoal grey,long tail,slender, about 30″tall and 40-50lbs couldn’t get a picture I was concerned about a mother with her young

  18. Live in Boyette Springs Subdivision in Riverview FL…they are doing extensive roadwork and home building in our area and greatly upsetting the natural habitats. Yesterday we had 2 bobcats running right down our street in the middle of the day!!! Last night had a huge possum sitting right in front of my kitchen window!

    • I don’t like to hear about people upsetting natural habitat and forcing wild cats out in the open where they are exposed to one, just one, crazy person who thinks wild cats are objects to shoot at for fun.

  19. While doing a 13 mile run on Blackwater Trail in Milton, Fl early this morning I spotted a large black catlike animal run gracefully across the running path. I was less than 300 ft. away and I don’t think it was aware of my presence.

    Absolutely awesome!!!

  20. I live in Sanford Florida, while my husband and I were driving on a busy road. This short grey haired cat ran from one set of woods to the other set of woods. This cat had a bobbed tail, that curled up. It was about 2 feet tall!. We both said at the same time, Was that a cougar!! Could someone tell us what type of cat that was?. The scary part is we run along that road. Thank you.

    • What about a Florida bobcat? Although in my estimation the Florida bobcat is just the American bobcat. Two feet tall is 24 inches. That is probably somewhere around the height to the shoulder of a bobcat (it may be a bit shorter than 24 inches but your estimate may be wrong). As far as I can tell, it would not be a cougar. The cougar has a long tail and is larger.

  21. My son and I were riding bikes today going down the bike path from the Auburndale to Polk City, Fl. On our way back at almost the 3 1/2 mile I had to tell my son who is only 6 to stop and not move. There was a very large cat reddish/brown in color, half tail, short pointed ears, and looked to weigh around 50+ lbs about the height of a boxer maybe…I thought it was a Bobcat but can not seem to find one in that color. It didn’t have spots or stripes just solid reddish/brown with a touch of white. It was only about 30feet away and I was going to try to take a picture but when it heard me hit just walked across the path and went in the woods. Any help on what kind of cat this was would be great. Thank you!!

    • I have looked at this Jaguarundi and this was not the cat…the ears on the one I saw were pointed and had fur the ends and it had NO spots or stripes at all..it’s head was almost block shape and it was past my knees not much and I am 5’4″ as I said before I was only about 30ft away so I got a very good look at it.

    • Hi Tammy, it is almost certain that you did in fact see a bobcat. The lynx tips to the ears are a good sign (fur on the end of the ears making then pointed). The short tail too.

      Also the background color of the bobcat varies from ‘buff, brown, reddish or yellowish brown to light grey..mottled appearance.’ (Wild Cats of the World by the Sunquists).

      Picture of a bobcat

      The bobcat is found in Florida and over most of the USA. Thanks for posting.

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