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Where Do Bobcats Live?

Bobcats are only found in North America. They are most plentiful in the far west, from Idaho, Utah, and Nevada to the Pacific Coast and from Washington to Baja California in Mexico. Bobcats are scarce in much of Midwest, but they can be found in regions throughout Florida.

One of the reasons that Bobcats have survived so well is that they can adapt to many different types of habitats including the deep forest, swamps, hammock land, farmland, mountains, woods, prairie, and desert. In Florida, thick patches of saw palmetto and dense shrub thickets provide prime locations for dens.

Do They Live in Groups?

Bobcats live in both rural and urban areas. In the wild the size of a bobcat’s territory is determined by the amount of prey available. When there is more prey, territories can be smaller. In rural areas bobcat territories can cover five or six square miles (or even more), while in urban and suburban areas they are usually only a couple of miles because of a lack of open territory. Bobcats will cross roads that have light traffic, but they don’t like highways. They might be seen in backyards on the edges of open areas but they usually don’t travel into neighborhoods.

What Is Their Habitat in the Wild Like?

Bobcats live in both rural and urban areas. In the wild, the size of a bobcat’s territory is determined by the amount of prey available. When there is more prey, territories can be smaller. In rural areas, bobcat territories can cover five or six square miles (or even more), whereas they are usually only a couple of miles in urban and suburban areas because of a lack of open territory. Bobcats will cross roads that have light traffic, but they don’t like highways. They might be seen in backyards on the edges of open areas, but they usually don’t travel into neighborhoods.

Where Do They Live?

Bobcats sleep in dens. An adult bobcat may have several dens in its territory. The main den is usually a cave or a rock shelter, but bobcats also use hollow logs and fallen trees. Bobcats set up auxiliary dens for shelter in the outer portions of their ranges. These are often made of brush piles, rock ledges, or stumps.

During the day bobcats will find a good hiding place in which to rest, like in a rock cleft or thicket, and they are also expert climbers and will sit or lie on boulders or tree branches. Their fur provides excellent camouflage both on the ground and in trees. Like domestic cats, bobcats don’t really like the water, but they will swim if necessary.

For more information, see the References and Further Reading page.