What Eats a Bobcat?

The bobcat shares many habitats with other carnivores because its distribution is very wide in North America and Mexico.

Coyotes and pumas are known to kill bobcats occasionally. Another predator which can share the same habitat is the wolf. The wolf shares part of the bobcat’s northern range. It would seem that the preferred prey of the wolf is large mammals such as deer but might include the bobcat.

The coyote is about the same size and weight as a bobcat and therefore unlikely to treat an adult as prey. That said, bobcat kittens when left alone are vulnerable. Coyotes are widespread throughout the US.

The mountain lion (puma or cougar) is also quite widespread throughout the US but confined to the western half of the country. You know that the puma is much larger than the bobcat at about twice the height and four times the weight. They often share the same range. The mountain lion prefers deer for prey or small rodents but they might take a bobcat for a meal if the opportunity presents itself.

Another animal which may prey upon a bobcat kitten is the golden eagle. The eagle does take domestic cats and therefore is likely to swoop upon a small bobcat kitten if once again the opportunity presented itself. Eagles prey upon reptiles, birds and small ground mammals.

Both the coyote and puma are two predators which limit bobcat distribution and density it appears. When coyotes moved into upper New York State and Maine, bobcats apparently declined in numbers. Bobcat numbers increased in the Western United States when coyotes were extirpated. Coyotes and bobcats use similar habitats. They eat similar food. They are in direct competition for resources especially in winter when food is less plentiful.

I’ll guess and say that a group of feral dogs might kill and eat a bobcat kitten or an adult. I don’t know of any instances. Bobcats often kill pet dogs it appears. The bobcat is an excellent climber and able to escape dogs but circumstances might be unfavourable for an escape.

The bobcat also lives sympatrically (in the same or overlapping places) with the smaller sized ocelot in southern Texas (if there are any left in that state!). They live in different habitats however and apparently harmoniously.

As far as I’m aware, humans do not eat bobcats although they like to kill bobcats for their skin. What happens to the rest of the carcass?

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

1 thought on “What Eats a Bobcat?”

  1. In some areas (thanks to DW for the info), large owls will carry away cats/kittens. I can only presume that bobcat kits are prey also.
    My belief is that coyotes are the biggest threat here. Many feral caretakers that I know describe diminishing colony members in coyote populated areas.
    Fortunately, I haven’t experienced that. But, if I did, that would be a definite move for my colonies.

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