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Bobcats (Felis rufus) are fierce cats that live in forests, swamps, mountains, prairie, and deserts in much of North America. Bobcats are generally nocturnal (most active at night), but have peaks of activity at dawn and dusk. They spend the day in their den (a cave, hollow log or rock crevice). They are excellent climbers and swimmers. Bobcats are preyed upon by by cougars, coyotes, wolves, owls, and people. Bobcats have a life span of 10-14 years. The bobcats and the lynx are closely related.

Anatomy: The Bobcat has powerful jaws and long, pointed canine teeth. It has sharp, retractable claws, big ears, and a spotted coat. Many bobcats have long tufts of hair at the tip of the ears that improve the cat's hearing. The brown eyes have circular pupils. These graceful cats are from 24 to 40 inches (60-100 cm) long (including the tail). The stubby tail is only 4 to 7 inches (10-18 cm) long, and looks as though it was cut off (or bobbed). This is what this cat is named for.

Diet: Bobcats are carnivores (meat-eaters). These fast, solitary hunters eat small mammals (like rabbits, hares, rodents, foxes, weasels, and even the occasional small deer), birds, fish, and eggs. Bobcats stalk their prey, and then pounce onto it. They can leap up to 10 feet (3 m). They can often kill their prey in one powerful bite.

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