Bobcats in Mississippi: Exploring Mississippi’s Bobcat Habitat

Bobcats are such a highly prevalent cat in the USA that you can find these cats in almost all the states of the USA and Mississippi is also no exception in this regard. The state of Mississippi also has a very stable and healthy population of bobcats. The population is good enough that the residents are legally allowed to hunt and trap these cats for any reason. The population of these cats is thriving very rapidly in Mississippi and you can witness these cats in every nook and corner of the state.

Some residents of the states have also reported the presence of other wild cats like mountain lions, panthers, and cougars in the state but there is no definite proof for these wild animals except bobcats. Thus, the bobcat is the only wild cat that you can find in the state of Mississippi. In this article, we are going to discuss the presence of bobcats in Mississippi in detail to let you know all the things about these cats in the state.

Bobcats in Mississippi
Bobcats in Mississippi.

Ecology of the Mississippi

The ecology of the Mississippi is highly suitable for wild animals like bobcats. The state of Mississippi is very well-known for its diverse habitat. You can easily find pine forests, swamps, rock, wooded areas, mountains, deserts, vegetated cover areas, and a lot of wilderness in the state.

Moreover, there are also plenty of small mammals like birds, mice, rabbits, and rodents that exist in the state which could be a good source of food for bobcats. These things have proved highly attractive for the cats and bobcats are thriving very rapidly in the state even in suburban areas and near human settlements.

Bobcats in Mississippi

Mississippi is also among the states of the USA which has a reasonable presence of bobcats in its surroundings. Mississippi is also known for its weird environment but it has not impacted the footprints of the bobcats in the state. You can easily find these cats in the thickets, swamps, and pine plantations of the state. These cats show nocturnal behavior in the state that’s why it might be difficult to notice these cats in the state in the morning time.

You can find these cats highly active in the nighttime. Bobcats are also very shy, elusive, and stealthy by nature. It has also become a very well-established fact that the bobcat is the only wild cat that you can find in Mississippi. In Mississippi, bobcats come with very stunning coats having mottled black color and reddish brown fur.

Where do bobcats live in Mississippi?

Bobcats are present throughout the Mississippi state and have dens in vegetated areas.
Bobcats are present throughout the Mississippi state and have dens in vegetated areas.

Bobcats are actually present in every county of the state as these cats are present in a very huge quantity. The population of these cats in the state is not endangered or threatened. There is a lot of wilderness in the state as well as pine woods and swampy bays which are highly suitable for the growth of the bobcat.

Moreover, bobcats have also made their establishments near human settlements and suburban areas of the state. You can say the entire state has become the home of bobcats. There were a lot of bobcats’ dens in the vegetated cover areas of the state. Bobcats are mainly present here for the sake of rabbits which are a good source of bobcats’ diet.

What do bobcats eat in Mississippi?

Diet of Mississippi bobcats.
Diet of Mississippi bobcats.

Bobcats are apex predators and like to eat a variety of diets. Generally, these cats like to eat cottontails, fox squirrels, gray squirrels, and rodents. These cats also like to eat small birds like pheasants, wild turkeys, reptiles, insects, and carrion. If these cats reside near human settlement areas, then the diet of these cats also include stray dogs, cats, pet cats, dogs, and small livestock animals like chicken and goats.

These cats can easily catch and kill their prey by utilizing their excellent hearing, smelling, and sighting senses. If small mammals are scarce then these cats could also target some large animals like white-tailed deer and wild hogs. However, being opportunistic predators, these cats always prefer to eat small mammals which they can easily hunt and eat.

Sometimes, bobcats also like to target venomous snakes despite being not immune from their venom. They can target the snake if the opportunity rises or if they are lucky enough that they easily knock it down without getting injured. In Mississippi, these bobcats could rely on snakes like western pygmy, timber rattlesnakes, coral snakes, and northern cotton mouth.

Hunting and trapping of the bobcats in Mississippi

Hunting and trapping of bobcat is allowed for a limited time.
In Mississippi hunting and trapping of bobcats is allowed for a limited time.

Mississippi has a very stable large population of bobcats. That’s why it is legally allowed to hunt and trap these cats for any reason. However, it is allowed for a limited time and limited numbers. The hunting season of the bobcats usually starts on 1st October and ends on 31st October with the limitation that you can target only 5 bobcats per day. It starts again on 1st November and ends on 28th February when there is no restriction on hunting.

One prominent thing about the hunting season in the Mississippi is that you are allowed to hunt these cats by deploying methods like electronic callers and artificial lights. You can also do hunting in the nighttime. You may also take dogs with you for good tracking of the cats in the wilderness. Indeed, there is a lot of freedom in the hunting of these cats but shooting on the spot or on your property is not allowed for these cats.

It is illegal to shoot these cats on your property. You must call the animals control officer or relevant authorities if you find a bobcat near your property. However, you may shoot in case of emergency if there is no other way to get rid of this wild cat and you may get severely injured if you don’t shoot or kill the cat.

See our article for bobcats in Michigan.

Other wild cats in Mississippi

Cougars are a rare sight and are not native to the state.
Cougars are a rare sight in Mississippi and are not native to the state.

Nowadays, bobcats are the only wild cat specie that you can find in the state of Mississippi. Sometimes, cougars were sighted in the state but most of them come from western states as these are not natives of the Mississippi. However, there is no exact proof of their presence in the state.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, mountain Lions used to be the native and most lethal wild cat of the state but the population of mountain lions in Mississippi has been declining very rapidly since then and it has gone extinct. Now you can only find these cats on the western side of the rocks. Some people have also reported the presence of panthers in the state. But these cats are also not native to the state and mostly came from Florida by traveling thousands of miles.

Hunting laws and regulations of the bobcats in Mississippi

There are certain laws and regulations which you need to adopt before going hunting and trapping the bobcats in the state. Let’s have a look at these rules and regulations.

  • You must have a proper hunting license for this purpose.
  • Don’t cross the limit of hunting.
  • Report all the harvested bobcats to the department of wildlife, fisheries, and parks within 72 hours of notice.
  • You can do bobcat hunting at nighttime in the state.
  • You must know about your bag limits as it varies from one season to another.
  • You can utilize guns, spears, nets, dogs, and artificial light for the hunting of these cats.

Frequently asked questions

In Mississippi, you can find much heavy size bobcats. The average weight of the bobcats in the state is around 40 pounds. These cats are almost 4 times larger than domestic cats. Bobcats are the native cats of the state.

Some jaguars were witnessed swimming across Louisiana and Arkansas but not in the Mississippi. Once jaguars used to roam around the bottomlands of the Mississippi same like bears but now this thing was not seen for decades.

There is no panther available in the state nowadays. The last panther of the Mississippi was seen in 1957. However, some sightings of panthers were reported along the Mississippi river in Washington and Claiborne counties.


Mississippi like most of the other states of the USA is known for its good population of bobcats. The population of bobcats in the state is also thriving very rapidly. You can easily hunt and trap these cats within limits and only after following all the rules and regulations of the states regarding the hunting of bobcats in the state. Overall, you will find this article quite comprehensive about the bobcats in Mississippi and you will never regret reading this.

Izzy foxx on a vet tour in africa

Izzy Foxx

Izzy is an experienced ranch worker who has a passion for exploring nature and getting up close to wildlife. With her connections to various animal organizations, Izzy is well-versed in animal care and rehabilitation.

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