Babs snoozes on a shelf.

The bobcat (felis rufus) is found in North American from central Mexico to southern Canada. It has become familiar in many different habitats because if its ability to adapt to a variety of conditions. It prefers a den in heavy brush, a small cave or crevice in the rocks or a large hollow in a tree. It is found in almost every habitat except those extremely wet like swamplands or extremely dry such as deserts.

The bob cat is a small to medium sized cat 2 to 3-1/2 feet in length. It has a short stubby tail 4-7 inches long. It usually weighs 10 to 30 lb. The background color can range from buff to brown. It is irregularly marked with various sized spots of darker brown or black. The tail is tipped in black on the top. The ears are marked with black on the back and may or may not have a black tuft. They have a beautiful ruff of fur at the side of their cheeks from the ear to the mouth corner. They have well-haired feet to protect the silence when stalking their prey. They have five digits on the front feet and four digits on the rear feet. All claws are retractable. Their dental formula is i3/3, c1/1, p2/3, m1/1 x 2 for a total of 30.

Bobcats have a high "Prey" drive which should be redirected into a "Play" drive.

Females have litters of 1 to 6 up to twice per year, usually in spring and late summer. They usually mate in November through August. Gestation is 60-70 days. The babies nurse for 8 weeks, and open their eyes at 10 days. The mother brings food home to them for several more weeks after weaning, and they begin to hunt and travel with her between three and five months. Females can be sexually mature at one year of age, but males are usually two years before mating. They can live to 30+ years in captivity.

This cat is an able climber although it spends the majority of its life on the ground. It is capable of leaping substantial distances at great speed when hunting. The bobcat usually preys on birds, rodents and rabbits although it has been known to take deer when small game is scarce. They have also been the justly accused of preying on domestic livestock such as poultry, and small animals. They are somewhat territorial the boundaries of which are generously marked with urine, feces and glandular secretions. They are solitary in the wild. Their fur is in much demand in the industry because of its beautiful pattern. It is now on appendix II of CITES.

The minimum enclosure for this size cat would be 8' x 6' x 8' per cat. For two cats, increase by 50%. If there are lots of interesting branches, rock piles, etc. in the cage, the animals will have better quality living conditions. Cats like perches near the top of the enclosure where they can watch the goings on. Be sure to provide logs for scratching. The enclosure must have at least one barrier behind which the animal can hide. Each cat needs a den. The enclosure should have one holding area or shift area per cat to facilitate safe cleaning, medication and restraint. This area should be about 6 square feet in floor space. These cats need vaccinations against feline distemper, rhinotracheitis and calcivirus twice a year. Killed vaccines are the best. Killed rabies should also be given on an annual or every three years basis.

The summer diet should consist of 1 lb. of ground horse meat with vitamins added. Give horse ribs or tail once a week. The winter diet is double that of the summer's. . You may wish to use ZuPreem Feline canned and/or dry diet in place of the meat and vitamins. Some owners feed their cats a mixture of Purina Mazuri Feline Diet and raw ground meat. Feed bones weekly with some meat attached to promote good oral health. A whole rat or rabbit weekly provides interest for the animal and added nutritional benefits. Some bobcats have been raised entirely on commercial canned and dry cat food with no ill effects.

Additional Photos:

These babies are like putty in our hands - So Mellow!

Mellow fellows!

Garfield is a smooth-coated baby to incorporate into our hybrid program.

Mamma of the putty babies above.


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