HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – Widely distributed throughout most of North America, the charismatic bobcat has adapted well to neighborhoods
throughout Florida. In rural areas, bobcats are found in deep forest, swamps, and hammock land. They den and rest in thick patches of saw palmetto and dense shrub.
Bobcats weigh 12-28 pounds, have a short “bobbed” tail, and prey on small animals such as rabbits, rodents, birds, and occasionally deer. Bobcats can be a positive addition to an area because they help control populations of other species that may be considered household or yard pests including rodents and rabbits. Unless an animal is sick or injured, bobcats are generally elusive and not aggressive toward people.
What can be done to prevent problems with bobcats?
- Secure all possible food sources, including pet food and garbage.
- Do not directly feed bobcats or other wildlife. Even if a bobcat is not eating the food you put out for birds or other wildlife, feeding stations can concentrate prey species and draw predators to your property.
- Haze any bobcat that is seen in a community or near homes or livestock. Yell, use air horns or throw rocks towards but not at the bobcat to discourage the animal from being in an unwelcome place.
- Properly pen small livestock such as chickens and quail in enclosures that cannot be accessed by bobcats or other predators. Completely enclosed pens are best, to prevent animals from jumping or digging their way into an enclosure.
- Do not leave small domestic pets outdoors or on screened enclosures unattended and always walk dogs on leashes so they cannot run off or out of sight.
To learn more about the Florida Bobcats and living with Florida’s native animals, visit myfwc.com.
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