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Scientific name: Lynx rufus

This elusive feline is seldom seen by humans locally, as it is known as a crepescule animal- meaning that it is most active before dusk and into the evening and before dawn to the early daylight hours. The bobcat gets its name from its distinctive short tail. They are about twice the size of the average house cat and can weigh up to 30 pounds. The greatest risk of death for them is a low food supply.

Occasionally, locals will claim that they have seen a mountain lion or cougar. This is very unlikely, as they have been extirpated (extinct locally) for over a half a century in New York state. Other names for this cougar were mountain lion and catamount.


19 pounds

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The bobcat will eat everything from rabbits, ducks, geese, insects, rodents, fish and more, depending on the time of year and what is locally available. They can go long periods of time without eating. Conversely, they can make a big kill, like a deer, and save some for later. In other words, they will eat their leftovers!


Bobcats require large territories to survive – 14 square miles or more of suitable habitat. In Lewisboro, this means bobcats must travel along wildlife corridors that connect habitat which are separated by development. Bobcats are an encouraging sign that some of our forests are still connected and functioning for plants and wildlife.

These solitary creatures are adaptable, but prefer wooded areas and rocky ledges where they can take refuge.

Life Cycle

The bobcat is a territorial animal. A male may have up to two females in his range which could be about 14 square miles locally. The females’ range is about half that. Kits are born from late spring to early summer and they spend their time in the dens with their mother until they reach three months of age. Then, they begin going out with mother and learning the skills they need to survive. They leave by the end of the year to find their own ranges.

Ecosystem Connections

Baby bobcats, known as kits, can be killed by owls, foxes and even male bobcats.

Have You Seen a Bobcat?

The NYS DEC should like to know. Be a citizen reporter by going to this page.

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