Bobcat Sounds: What Does A Bobcat Sound Like? (Audio samples)

When you are in the wilderness, it is extremely difficult to differentiate between the animals. The sound of the animal is the one thing that might help you in this regard. There are several species of wild cats and the bobcat is also one of them. Like other wild cats, bobcats can also make a variety of sounds which depends upon the circumstances they have to face. Generally, bobcats are considered very quiet animals but they can make sounds for communication and several other things.

In this article, we will let you know all the bobcat sounds under different circumstances. Keep reading this article.

What Does A Bobcat Sound Like
What Does A Bobcat Sound Like?

What do bobcats sound like?

Most of the time bobcats sound like other wild cats such as growling, hissing, purring, mewing, etc. But they also produce some special sounds on special occasions. For instance, they scream very loudly during the breeding season. They will produce bark like sounds along with growling and hissing when they feel threatened by the predators. However, bobcats don’t like to make sounds when they hunt their prey.

Most of the bobcat sounds may be the same as other cats but they are big size cats that also make some more powerful and deeper sounds. There is also no similarity in the sounds of different species of bobcats. It is not inevitable that all bobcats make the same kind of sounds. There might be differences in their voices. Some bobcats bark as well as yelp but many others don’t.

Do bobcats sound like house cats?

Do bobcats sound like house cats
Bobcat meow is almost the same as a house cat.

Bobcats make many kinds of noises and some of them show a great amount of resemblance with regular cats. For instance, some bobcat noises like meowing, growling, hissing, and snarling are almost the same as the sounds of house cats. However, there might be some differences in terms of their vocalization. You will feel a very deep, high, and deep tone in the sound of a bobcat. These sounds might be very frightful for you due to their intensity. It seems like someone is crying somewhere. You might mix some of the bobcat sounds with pet cats but it is not always the same case.

What sound does a bobcat make?

Bobcats make several sounds according to the circumstances they are under in. They actually make many more sounds as compared to other animals like foxes, dogs, cats, etc. you might have heard the screaming sound of bobcats same as the child or women while roaming around in the wilderness. To identify these sounds clearly, we have divided the sounds of a bobcat into the following categories.

Types of bobcat sounds

Here we have enlisted all the sounds which bobcats make and we are going to talk briefly about them. However, these bobcat noises might vary from one animal to another.

  • Meows.
  • Chirps.
  • Hisses.
  • Growls.
  • Snarls.
  • Barks.
  • Screams.
  • Screeches.
  • Yelps.
  • Howls.
  • Yowls.

We are going to discuss these sounds in detail one by one.

Bobcat meows

Many people want to know do bobcats meow. Meow sounds are basically used for seeking attention. Bobcats meow the same as domestic cats. But they don’t meow very much as bobcats don’t have to demand food from their owner.

However, bobcat kittens like to meow very much as they seek the attention of their mothers for various purposes like food, or if they need help from danger. Bobcats make different kinds of meow sounds while resting, walking, sleeping, etc. These sounds also erupt when bobcats have to make louder calls for breeding.

Overall, they meow as a source of communication when they are fully comfortable or in the mood to do something enjoyable.

Bobcat meow recorded at night in a forest.

Bobcat squalls

These sounds are the same as the domestic cat or pet cat sounds. They squall or cry when they communicate with each other. Squalling also happens when female bobcats communicate with their kids or vice versa. These are the initial sounds before the louder breeding calls erupt.

Bobcats chirps

Bobcat chirps are the same as the chirps of birds.  It is also utilized for the same purpose as the meows are utilized. Sometimes, baby bobcats chirp while demanding food from their mothers.

Bobcat hissing

It is a very prolonged sound that is mainly made by felines. It erupts as a warning sign to keep things away bobcats think are dangerous. These sounds are employed as defense mechanism tools. These sounds usually erupt if they are upset or if they want to be alert about something.

Bobcat growl

It is a guttural sound which has not very high pitch. It is a very low sound which shows the aggression or defense of bobcats. It actually shows that bobcat is ready for a fight but they prefer to avoid these challenges. Kittens also mostly growl while wrestling or playing with their fellow siblings. They also growl if they feel any danger from their predators. Overall, you can say these are moody or angry sounds.

Angry bobcat growl sound.

Bobcat snarls

Snarl is an upgradation of sound from hissing and growling. If any things which are threatening the bobcat are not going away then the bobcat snarls which is aggression with the help of their teeth. They also snap while snarling. It is an expression before they actually involve themselves in the physical confrontation. Bobcats adopt defensive techniques if they feel cornered. Sometimes, kittens also snarl at their mother while playing. Overall, they snarl when they have been annoyed by something serious.

Bobcat snarl calls.

Bobcat bark

They erupt only a cough bark sound. They expel a lot of air in a very short burst almost same like the threatening snort of deer. These barks are easily distinguishable. Mostly we listen to the bark of dogs but these cough barks are different and used as a usual way of communication between bobcats. Sometimes, they bark to warn other animals about the presence of predators. Sometimes, they bark at their enemies or you can say, predators.

Bobcat bark sound audio example

Bobcat scream: why do bobcats scream?

It is a very different kind of sound that is easily identifiable because a bobcat screams during mating season. Sometimes, they scream in their normal state, or these acts show their courtship behavior. It is the male bobcat that mainly screams as it has to fight more for doing various things. Overall, bobcat screaming happens when they are angry, annoyed, or hungry.

Bobcat scream.

Bobcat screeching

Screeches are almost the same as the screams of the bobcats. If screams are louder then these screams are actually got converted into screeches. It is a very scary sound which is the same as the crying of a child or woman. These screeches we can listen to normally in the wilderness.

Bobcat yelps

It is also a kind of scream but a very short one. These are short screams. Bobcats yelp for various reasons as they yelp when they feel threatened or if there is a mating season. It is a mixed sound that erupts for various reasons. Yelp is converted into bark if bobcats feel there are any dangerous predators around them. These are very frightening sounds that erupt as a final warning to their predators.

Bobcats purring

Many people want to know do bobcats purr? Baby bobcats or smaller-size bobcats don’t roar but purr. It usually happens because these cats usually have very delicate or interconnected bones called hyoid bones which have a range from the back of their tongue to the very base of their skull. These sounds produce when the larynx of the bobcat vibrates and they produce a continued breathing-like sound. Mainly, the mother purrs to camouflage the meowing of their kitten from nearby predators. The pitch of the purr might be lower or higher according to the circumstances.

Bobcat yowls

Bobcat yowls are extremely different from other sounds like screams, screeches, meows, etc. They yowl when they are hurt and in extreme pain. Some people consider them prolonged meows. But I don’t think so because these are very short and have a different kind of tone. They yowl also for the sake of communication and between each other and their kids.

Bobcat howling

Bobcat howls are the same as the sounds of domestic or pet cats. They express this sound if they feel distressed or in danger. They also howl in search of their counterparts. They also call their children by howling occasionally. These are sweet sounds that are actually an expression of the love that bobcat gives to their children. Overall, these are regular sounds for any kind of reason.

Bobcat hunting sounds

The bobcat makes no sound while hunting. They keep quiet and move very stealthily toward their prey. That’s why they mainly prefer dark surroundings for hunting like during the sunset or sunrise. They utilize their hearing, smelling, and sighting sense rather than sounding senses for hunting purposes. They also don’t leave traces of their track while going for a hunt. They do it by just walking on their front paws and keep hiding their back paws’ traces.

Most of the time they hunt very small or midsize prey like squirrels, fawns, raccoons, rabbits, and birds. They catch their prey by ambushing them. They actually grab their neck and cut their spinal cords first. They don’t eat or ruin all their hunting. They fill their belly and store the remaining food in a cache.

However, they make a lot of noise if they feel threatened or if they feel a predator is approaching them. By making various sounds like screaming, hissing, growling, and howling, they can deter the predators from hunting. 

Baby Bobcat sounds

YouTube video
Baby bobcat sounds

Many people want to know about bobcat kitten sounds. There is no major difference between a baby and fully mature bobcat sounds. They sound mostly like calling their mothers or while playing with their siblings. They almost sound like domestic pets but the vocalization is a little bit louder and deeper.

They meow or chirp for grabbing the attention of their mother when they need feeding. When they are in any difficulty they howl for calling their mother. They hiss, growl, and snarl while playing with their siblings. As they become old or adults, they start making serious noises like yelping, screaming, and barking.

Bobcat mating sounds

During the mating season, bobcat calls very specific sounds. These are called bobcat calling sounds. These are mating-specific calls. Some of the very well-known sounds for the mating purpose are squalling, hissing, snarling, and screaming. Male bobcats might be more aggressive in their calling sounds as they also have to conquer a territory. It is the time when they make the loudest possible sounds. The mating season of the bobcats starts in January and ends in May.

If you hear the sound of a bobcat screaming in between this period and more specifically if a bobcat is screaming like a woman, then you must realize that they are mating.

Bobcat scream sound in mating season.

What are the bobcat sounds at night?

Bobcats are nocturnal animals and mostly go for their hunt in the nighttime. Nowadays, they are also showing some inclination towards crepuscular behavior. That’s why you might hear bobcat screams during nighttime. The screaming at the night will be mostly very loud and deep. They make a lot of noise at night time because they also mate in the night and male bobcats have to fight with female bobcats for this purpose. Thus, when it comes to the bobcat noise at night then there are screaming sounds most of the time.

Are bobcats loud in the wilderness?

The loudness of the sound of the bobcats depends upon a certain time of the year or season. They make very loud, screaming, and deep sounds throughout their breeding season. By observing the intensity of their sound, you can get to know about the condition of the bobcat. You must never approach if they are making very loud screaming, growling, and hissing sounds as bobcats might be afraid or distressed about you and it could be dangerous for you to go near them in this condition.

Frequently asked questions

People who are living in different regions of the world have closely observed the bobcat cries. They have concluded that bobcats cry like a child or women asking for help. Like, they are in extreme pain and asking for help. These sounds are similar to babies calling their mothers.

The sound of the bobcat is very intimidating. You will feel like a roar of a lion. But when it comes to vocalization, they are close to meowing than roaring.

Bobcats erupt a very strange type of screaming. You can easily hear them even if you are miles away from them. That’s why they cover a very large swathe of territory. The male bobcat covers 30 square miles while the female bobcat covers 5 square miles.


Bobcats make different kinds of sounds under different circumstances. We have tried our best to let you know about every kind of sound they emit under various conditions. However, most of these sounds are raised at night as bobcats are nocturnal animals and do most of their activities in the nighttime. We have experimented with these sounds by pursuing bobcats under different conditions like mating, sleeping, fighting, etc. By reading this article, and hearing audio samples you can get practical experience with bobcat sounds.

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