Bobcats are known to have a presence throughout the North American continent. In some places, it has quite a stable population but in a few places, the existence of these cats is in danger. Texas is also one of the states where you can find a lot of bobcats in various counties of the state. People might spot them very rarely but bobcats in Texas exist are in a very stable manner.
Are there Bobcats in Texas
Texas is home to many native wild cat species and the bobcat is also among these wild cats. Most of these cats are struggling for their survival but bobcats have a very active presence in the state due to their extraordinary adaptive capabilities. These cats have their presence throughout the state of Texas but there is a very huge abundance of these cats in Southern Texas.
However, these cats are rarely seen by the residents due to their elusive and shy nature and nocturnal behavior. You can find out the presence of these cats in your areas by scratches on the tree trunks where these cats sharpen their claws. There are mainly two recognized species of bobcats in Texas, desert bobcat and Texas bobcat.
The desert bobcat lies in the western and northwestern parts of the state while the desert bobcats are generally found throughout the state. These cats have a lot of similarities in their appearance and it is extremely difficult to tell any difference between them. Only the experts can differentiate between these cats.
Read our article for bobcats in Washington State.
Where do bobcats live in Texas?
Bobcats could be found anywhere in the state of Texas. The concentration of these cats lies in the west, North West, and south Texas regions of the country. The state of Texas could provide good habitat as well as an environment for these cats to exist easily anywhere in the state.
However, these cats like to live in forested areas or the plain regions of Texas. You can also find a lot of bobcats in the coniferous forests of eastern Texas, rocky regions of Edward’s plateau, and in southern and western plain lands. You can also find the bobcat population in the canyons and cliffs of trans-Pecos.
Bobcats usually like to make shelters in hollow logs, thickets, and cliff crevices, where they rest most of the day and come out at night. These cats usually pick up their prey from the trails and roads.
Dangers of Texas State Bobcats
Bobcats might be shy and elusive in nature but it doesn’t mean that these cats would not be harmful to you if you are living near them. You might have to encounter these cats a lot of times in areas where these cats are in abundance. There are almost 200,000 cats residing in Texas.
These cats have been highly dangerous to livestock animals as well as small pet animals like chickens, house cats, and dogs. You must be extra careful regarding your pets and always try to keep them locked and never let them unattended, especially during dusk hours. You may also use deterrent lights to keep bobcats away from your premises.
Being highly adaptable wild cats, bobcats have been able to cope very well with human settlement areas. In the 1970s, these cats were harvested at a huge scale by the fur trappers and in some areas, it was overly harvested. This also happened due to the illegal transfer of pelts from Mexico to Texas.
Nowadays, Texas has a very stable, robust ad healthy population of bobcats. It has also been enlisted as the least concerned specie on the state lists of concerned wild species. It has become the most valuable fur-bearing specie in the state as 54159 bobcats were trapped between 2000 and 2013. Nowadays, the main threat the bobcats are facing is high vehicular traffic on the roads.
Other wild cats of Texas
Texas is also home to other wild cats like mountain lions and ocelots other than bobcats. There are almost 31 species of the Felidae family which you can witness while roaming in different areas of Texas. You might see wild cats named panther, puma, cougar, or catamount but all of these wild cats come under a single animal named mountain lion. It is the same cat that people see in different colors and shapes.
It is a large slender cat with a small reddish-colored head and long tail. It is the largest cat in the Felidae family. Some mammologists like Jonah Evans have even predicted that there has never been any mountain lion in the state. However, residents have reported sightings of these animals at different times and in different areas. Most of the sightings were reported from the south, west, and central regions of Texas.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife report, bobcats are available in all 254 counties of the state. These cats usually like to reside in canyons, forests, rim rocks, and lowlands. They prefer to reside in dense brush areas where they can easily hide.
Ocelot is another beautiful but spotted wild cat which has almost the same size as the size of a bobcat. These cats usually exist in the thorny and shrub areas of south Texas. Over the last 6 decades, these shrublands have been converted into agricultural and urban lands. Road mortality of these cats has also been on the rise. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, only 100 ocelot wild cats are remaining in the state. That’s why these cats have been enlisted as endangered species.
Bobcat hunting in Texas
There are proper rules and regulations for the hunting and trapping of bobcats in the state. You must have a small game license for the hunting of bobcats as well as coyotes in the state. All the hunters must have signed a liability waiver before going hunting in the state. Texas parks and wildlife always expect courteous and safe hunting from the hunters.
South Texas bobcat
Bobcats have a very active and stable population throughout the state of Texas. When it comes to the southern side, the bobcats have a special presence in the south Texas brush country. Despite having a large population there, you may not see these cats a lot in the southern side due to their extraordinarily secretive, shy, and elusive nature.
Black bobcat in Texas
The process of Melanism is rare but present in bobcats. These black bobcats were also spotted in the state of Texas. Once this Melanistic bobcat was also killed by the resident. However, these are very rare cats, and some people also intermix them with black panthers.
Bobcats in East Texas
Bobcats have an active presence in the eastern side of Texas state. These cats have been reported by the residents for the last 2 decades. Some other wild animals like mountain lions, cougars, jaguars, and foxes were also spotted on this side of the state.
Bobcats have a very stable population in all the states of the USA. Texas is also no exception in this regard. Texas has covered large areas and the habitat of the state is also highly feasible for wild cats like bobcats. Other wild cats are also present in the state but not stable enough like bobcats. Bobcats in Texas are in good quantity, that’s why these cats are the least concern according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
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.