Are Bobcats Dangerous to Humans and Pets?

Are Bobcats Dangerous to Humans and Pets?

Bobcats are a species of wild cats found all across the United States. They pose no real threat to humans as such, but may try to hunt smaller farm animals and pets. This Buzzle post tells you everything you need to know about these reclusive wild cats.
Can't recognize a bobcat? Look for ...

1. Tufted, pointed ears with black spots on the back
2. Short, "bobbed" tail
3. Light brown coat with black spots
4. Rear legs longer than the front ones

Chances are that you'll spend your entire life living in the United States without ever spotting this shy and reticent feline. Bobcats tend to be creatures of the night and strive hard to avoid encounters with humans. Plus, they're also solitary, so you'd hardly find them in groups, unless it happens to be a mother with her kittens.

Bobcats pose little to no threat to humans, both adults and children. It is impractical for them to hunt creatures that are way bigger in size as compared to them. Being solitary and reclusive, you won't find them too often in densely urban areas. But as we're the ones encroaching their habitat, there is a possibility that one might encounter a bobcat on rural farms or urban outskirts. They are usually lured here with the expectation of finding food, which includes chickens, rabbits, small game, and yes, at times, even your small pet dogs and cats.

Keep Your Pets Safe From Bobcats

Bobcats wander into human habitation in search of food. They may be particularly attracted to a farm with several small animals like chickens, rabbits, other poultry, small dogs and cats, and rodents.

Thus, it is of utmost importance to keep your pets and farm animals safe, either within your home, or in a protected enclosure. Being felines, bobcats are quite agile, and can jump to open windows or spaces to gain access to food.

You can clear out wild bushes and shrubs from your yard, as these can be used as hiding spots by bobcats. Never leave out food, especially in the night, as this is an open invitation to other wild animals besides bobcats, like coyotes, for instance. Also keep trash cans tightly closed.

If you spot a bobcat in the vicinity for the first time, you can view it from a distance. It rarely comes close to humans, and is most likely to scurry off on spotting you.

In case the sightings begin to increase, shoo the animal away by making loud noises or spray water using a garden hose.

If you notice that the animal is trapped or scared, do not approach it. Immediately contact the Game and Fish Department in your state, animal control, or any wildlife removal business, and let them take over.

Remember that most wild animals including the bobcat venture into human habitats being lured by the presence of food. They are obviously not looking to be domesticated.

Dealing With a Bobcat Attack

Bobcats are very rarely known to attack humans. However, in the event that you spot one that seems very aggressive or attacking, get away from it immediately and contact animal control.

If you have been attacked or bitten, you need immediate medical attention. Aggressive bobcats can be afflicted with rabies.

Never encourage your children to interact with wild animals. With the bobcats' resemblance to the domestic cat, your child may be tempted to go closer, which is why it is important to educate them about these animals.

Bobcats are slightly bigger than domestic cats and smaller than mountain lions. However, there is an increasing number of people who keep domestic cat breeds who resemble wild cats, which makes it tough to identify bobcats correctly. Educate yourself about their appearance if you suspect their presence in your area.

Pet Bobcats?

NO. Just plain no. Despite their appearance, bobcats are wild animals and cannot be kept as pets. In fact, you will find that keeping them as pets is illegal in several states. These animals are seasoned to live in the wild, and only inhabit human areas in search of food. Bobcats aren't even pack animals, so you'd get an idea how hard it would be to domesticate them.