Bobcats are medium-sized wild cats found in the North American continent. These animals are very aggressive and like to prey on several small animals like squirrels, mice, rats, rabbits, etc. By preying on several small animals, it doesn’t mean that other big animals could not prey on bobcats.
There are several animals available in the wilderness that can easily hunt and kill bobcats. These animals are potential bobcat predators. However, most of the time bobcat kittens become the target of these big animals. In this article, we are going to explain in detail what eats a bobcat in the wilderness.
- What eats a bobcat?
- Top 8 potential predators of the bobcat
- What eats baby bobcats?
- Frequently asked questions
What eats a bobcat?
Bobcats share their habitat with several other large and fierce animals like coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, alligators, and fishers. These animals actually pose a real threat to the survival of bobcats. It has been roughly estimated that any animal having a size similar to the size of coyotes can kill and eat bobcats.
It means that bobcats have many enemies which are much larger in size and equally capable of killing and eating bobcats. Owing to the threat from these animals, the life span of the bobcats has been considerably reduced in the wilderness.
It has been estimated that the maximum age of bobcats in the wilderness is 12 years while in captivity they could live as long as 30 years as they could get food easily and don’t have to face threats from their predators.
Top 8 potential predators of the bobcat
Here we have the list of top potential predators of bobcats. We will discuss these animals in detail and how they could target, kill and eat bobcats. Let’s have a look at what eats bobcats.
- Mountain lions
1. Mountain lions
Mountain lions are big size wild cats that belong to feline species. These wild cats are abundant in North as well as South America. These cats are very aggressive, fierce, and powerful hunters. These cats are capable of killing animals having sizes much larger than themselves. Similarly, bobcats are smaller than a mountain and don’t have any chance against wild animals like mountain lions.
Mountain lions or cougars are carnivore animals who like to eat meat only for their survival. These cats are very fast and strong. These cats utilize features like stealth, speed, and surprise to kill their prey. These cats were also seen killing large animals like moose and buck. There is only one feline specie that is larger in size than the mountain lion and named a jaguar.
It might be possible that the mountain lions could kill bobcats whenever they cross their path but it only happens if these animals meet accidentally. It is a very rare chance that mountain lions would intentionally go after the bobcats and eventually kill them.
Indeed, mountain lions are capable of killing bobcats but these animals are also much heavy and fierce in terms of bite force. The weight of a mountain lion is around 110 to 120 pounds while bobcats only weigh around 35 pounds. Similarly, mountain lions also come with a very powerful bite force of 1311 N.
2. Do Coyotes eat bobcats?
Coyotes are medium-sized cats who like to roam around in a pack. These cats are adaptable to various kinds of environments. You can witness these animals throughout every nook and corner of North America. Sometimes, these animals are very solitary in nature and sometimes they also like to live in social groups.
There is a wide range of animals that come under the coyote’s prey range. They could target small animals like rodents, and squirrels, to large animals like deer, bobcats, etc. These cats were also seen killing animals like carrion, livestock members, and poultry animals. When it comes to a fight between coyotes and bobcats, then there are much more chances that coyotes would win the fight.
However, there are also some slim chances that bobcats might overpower coyotes but it only happens if bobcats directly target the weak points of coyotes. Coyotes are double the size of bobcats when it comes to weight and also have more powerful bite force as compared to bobcats.
Wolves are very much known pack hunters who happen to exist in every nook and corner of the world. These are very strong and powerful hunters who have been known for taking down even very large animals like buffalo Americans bison, etc. They actually like to prey on large animals than their own size. Wolves are carnivores by nature but could also rely on berries, carrion, or even cannibalism if they are facing food scarcity.
Once they were witnessed all over the Northern Hemisphere but now their population is decreasing very rapidly in some areas due to human predation and loss of their habitat due to new settlements. In some states, the population of wolves is now recovering due to some state-sponsored policies. There is a whole system of Wolves rehabilitation in the yellow stone national park.
When it comes to fighting with bobcats, then wolves are potential predators of the bobcats and they could easily kill bobcats singlehandedly without even needing their other partners. That’s why bobcats don’t like to have any kind of interaction with wolves and they never overlap their territory with wolves.
4. American Alligators
American alligators are very huge size reptiles weighing anywhere around 700 to 1000 pounds and very powerful bite force of almost 16000 N. These reptiles are very powerful and deadly hunters and can easily kill very large animals like deer with quite an ease. You can witness these hunters in areas like Northeastern Mexico and Southeastern USA.
There is a huge abundance of alligators’ population in the states like Florida and Louisiana. A small population of alligators was also found in the Tamaulipas, Mexico. At an early age, alligators like to live together in social groups but gradually as they become old they like to spend most of their time alone. They like to ambush their prey whenever they find anything close to the water.
Most of the time, they target deer as they occasionally come close to the water for drinking purposes and it is also easy to handle these animals as they don’t resist a lot. However, the American alligators were also seen attacking some big animals like Florida panthers and black beers.
When it comes to the encounter between the alligator and the bobcat, the bobcat has no chance to win this fight as even the small alligators can handle the bobcat easily. Alligators are very giant reptiles and they can even kill big animals such as mountain lions and bears let alone bobcats.
Fishers are small but aggressive, tough, and highly efficient predators. They belong to the weasel family and mainly reside in the western USA and Canada. They are equally capable of killing some large animals like bobcats and lynxes. Fishers have almost the same size as the size of bobcats and they just weigh around 5-15 pounds but have a very powerful bite force of at least 539 N.
They are omnivores and can rely on many things closely available in their habitat. They don’t like to attack large animals like deer, bobcats, etc. They prefer small prey like rodents, porcupines, and snowshoe hares. However, they occasionally encounter large animals like lynxes and bobcats.
Male fishers usually ambush bobcats and ultimately kill them with a few blows. They prefer female bobcats or baby bobcats rather than male bobcats. When a fight happens between fisher and male bobcats, sometimes bobcats also win in this fight.
There are some venomous snakes available in the USA that can also go after the animals like bobcats. Among these venomous snakes include the pythons of Florida and anacondas. According to the Florida Museum, pythons can reach a length of 16 feet, which means they can easily target bobcats.
Bobcats also go after python eggs in their nests. It means it is easy for the pythons to target bobcats as they can utilize their eggs as bait. Still, there are 50/50 chances of winning for both animals as bobcats could also target pythons and kill them ultimately.
Some birds like raptors could also target bobcat kittens. Raptors have very sharp binocular vision which they can utilize while searching for animals like bobcats. It usually happens when bobcat kits go far away from their mother and become more vulnerable to their predator. Eagles are the largest raptors and main hunters of bobcats. Despite their big size and extra viciousness, they don’t like to target healthy adult bobcats and target only wounded bobcats or bobcat kits.
Humans also go after bobcats for commercial reasons. Bobcats are very famous for their beautiful and soft fur. In this regard, fur trapping has become a very popular sport for collecting revenue and controlling the population of bobcats in the United States of America. Bobcats are also very unpopular for going after livestock and deer population. During winter, bobcats also take the route of roads for movement as they have to face a lot of snow inside the forests and they occasionally become the victims of road accidents.
What eats baby bobcats?
Baby bobcats are more vulnerable to all the above-mentioned predators than adult male or female bobcats. Baby bobcats are also vulnerable to small animals like foxes, and some birds like golden eagles. Adult bobcats can defend themselves by hiding somewhere if they feel any danger in their surroundings but baby bobcats just have to rely on their mother and if the mother is not available in the surrounding then they could be easily targeted. Generally, a bobcat’s kitten could be killed by the animals like eagles, foxes, owls, and even by other adult bobcats.
Frequently asked questions
Bobcats are very fierce, aggressive, and wild cats. They like to eat a lot of small mammals like rodents, squirrels, rabbits, etc. They can also target some large animals like deer. It doesn’t mean that bobcats could not become the potential prey of animals. There are actually several large animals that are capable of killing bobcats with quite ease. Some of these animals are mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, etc.
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.