Bobcats are striking cats that are tough to miss. Much like other felines, bobcats are super cute. Their kittens are especially adorable little furballs. However, you don’t want to mess with the bobcat, especially not during its breeding season.
To learn about how bobcats behave during mating season and reproduction, keep reading. This guide tells you everything you need to know about the bobcat’s mating, reproducing, and raising babies. Scroll down for all of this and more.
When Is Bobcat Mating Season?
Table of Contents
- 1 When Is Bobcat Mating Season?
- 2 How Do Bobcats Find A Mate?
- 3 Are Bobcats Monogamous?
- 4 How Does A Bobcat Mate?
- 5 How Long Is A Bobcat Pregnant?
- 6 Where Does The Bobcat Mom Give Birth?
- 7 How Many Baby Bobcat Kittens Are There In A Litter?
- 8 Does The Bobcat Dad Stay With The Kittens?
- 9 What Are Baby Bobcats Called?
- 10 How Long Do Bobcat Kittens Nurse?
- 11 When Are Bobcat Kittens Ready To Leave Their Mom?
- 12 When Are Bobcats Old Enough To Have Kittens Themselves?
- 13 How Can You Tell A Male Bobcat From A Female?
- 14 Can Bobcats Mate With Other Types Of Cats?
Bobcat mating season is typically between the months of January or February. However, the bobcat mating season can start as early as August and go as late as early April. Some females even get pregnant in the summer since females can get pregnant at any time, though this is uncommon.
How Do Bobcats Find A Mate?
Male bobcats try to mate with as many females as possible. As a result, males circle their territory constantly in search of a female bobcat in heat. If a female is receptive to mating, she will lay scent markings down. The male will find these scent markings and track her down to begin courtship.
Females lay their sent down by rubbing their cheeks or bodies on scent posts. They can also use their urine in order to notify male bobcats in the area that they are interested. While males are going about their rounds, they will find these scents and track the female down.
During the courtship phase, males will make certain sounds and lay down their own scent. If the female is willing to breed, she will arch her back and make yowling vocalizations, all while circling about the male. Then, the two bobcats will engage in a playful behavior that involves chasing and pouncing before officially mating.
Does A Bobcat Have A Mating Call?
Bobcats have a mating sound that is often called yowling. The mating sound is not pleasant to human ears. It is often described as sounding like a woman who is screaming or moaning in agony. It is a sound that is not frequently heard by humans, but it isn’t forgotten once it is heard.
Are Bobcats Monogamous?
Bobcats are not monogamists, though a single pair of male and female will mate for weeks and even months on end to ensure pregnancy.
After a male tracks down the female, he often will stay with the female and mate with her several times. This meeting can happen over a series of weeks and even months.
Even though male bobcats will go to great lengths to mate with a single female, they are far from being monogamous. Males will always try to mate with as many females as possible. Consequently, males will mate with many females, often in one season.
The same is true of females. Although females don’t mate as much as males, they still will mate with many males in their lifetime, further proving bobcats are not a monogamous species.
How Does A Bobcat Mate?
Bobcat mating can happen over weeks and months. It begins with the male tracking down a ready female. If the female accepts the male, the male will often bite the female’s neck and they will make noises throughout the entire mating process. Females often change their minds, which results in a fight.
Do Bobcats Make A Sound When Mating?
Bobcats make distinct noises when mating. Often, females will make a yowling sound, which is akin to a woman writhing in pain. Female bobcats will do this to attract a male, and they will continue making this noise during the mating process. Males will make this yelling sound as well.
Do Bobcats Get Hurt When Mating?
Bobcats often get hurt during the mating season. Males will fight with other males in order to defend territory, whereas females and males will fight if the female changes her mind and does not want to continue with the courtship.
Males are most likely to be hurt during the mating season. During this season, males will have a territory that they circle and look for a female. Often, the male territory overlaps with the territory of another male. The male bobcats will have to fight to defend the territory, often resulting in hurt males.
Even if a male finds a female, they still have the possibility to get hurt. Males will bite the neck of the female while they’re mating. If the female changes her mind, she will snap back and often attack the male ears first. Both males and females can get injured during the actual mating process.
How Long Is A Bobcat Pregnant?
A female Bobcat is pregnant for about 60 to 70 days, roughly 2 months. Bobcat litters typically include anywhere from 1 and 8 kittens. When the kittens are born, each one is about 8 inches long and eight or nine ounces. Because the peak of bobcat mating season happens in January, most bobcat kittens are born in March.
Where Does The Bobcat Mom Give Birth?
Shortly before the bobcat is expected to give birth, the mother will find a hidden spot, such as a den. bobcats prefer denning in areas like rock crevices, fallen logs, or root masses of fallen trees.
Bobcat kittens and the mother will typically stay in that initial den for a period of four to five weeks after giving birth. After this time is over, the mother will move to other dens for short periods of time while continuing to raise the bobcat kittens.
Sometimes, bobcat mothers do not have to actively look for dens. It is a relatively common practice for female bobcats to give their daughters a portion of their territory to give birth. Because of this fact, females don’t always have to look very far given that they are often offered the opportunity to give birth in the areas they themselves were birthed.
How Many Baby Bobcat Kittens Are There In A Litter?
Most Bobcat litters include 3 to 4 kittens. That being said, bobcat litters have been known to include as few as 1 kitten or as many as 8 kittens.
Does The Bobcat Dad Stay With The Kittens?
No. Bobcat fathers do not stay with the kittens. Instead, the female has the sole responsibility of caring for the young. The female will stay with the kittens for a period of 9 to 12 months, whereas the father is not even around to see them born.
Much like many other species, male bobcats are incredibly territorial and solitary. Although they may stay with a female bobcat during the mating season for weeks or months, the male will leave once the female is pregnant in order to find more females to impregnate.
Even if that male stumbles upon one of its own kittens at a later date, the male will try to fight the kittens in order to defend its territory.
What Are Baby Bobcats Called?
Much like domestic house cats, baby bobcats are simply called kittens. Bobcats are typically considered kittens whenever they are still nursing on their mother, which happens until they are 8 to 10 weeks old.
How Long Do Bobcat Kittens Nurse?
Bobcat kittens nurse until they are about 7 to 8 weeks old, but they may nurse for slightly longer. At the 8-week mark, they will begin eating fresh meat. Even after the Bobcat kittens have begun eating fresh meat, they will stay with the mother until they are about 9 to 10 months old.
When Are Bobcat Kittens Ready To Leave Their Mom?
Bobcat kittens leave their mother whenever they are about 9 to 10 months old. During this span of time, the bobcat kittens will learn how to hunt and survive in the competitive bobcat environment. For most of this time, the bobcat kittens are eating fresh meat and living with the mother directly.
When Are Bobcats Old Enough To Have Kittens Themselves?
Bobcat kittens typically reach sexual maturity whenever they are about 12 months old for females or 24 months old for males. The average lifespan of wild bobcats is 12 to 13 years. If you do the math, bobcats may experience a mating cycle for 11 to 12 years in total.
After kittens are born, they don’t open their eyes until they are about 6 days old. By the time they are 3 to 4 months old, they are completely weaned off the mother, but they still live with the mother in order to learn key hunting skills.
Once the kittens are 9 to 10 months old, the mother has taught them everything they need to survive on their own. As a result, the mother bobcat will kick them out. Female bobcats will reach sexual maturity just shortly after this time, whereas males have to wait another year.
How Can You Tell A Male Bobcat From A Female?
You can tell a male bobcat from a female by looking at its size, tracks, and location. Males are notably bigger with larger tracks as a result. Females, in contrast, are smaller and have a more oval-shaped track. You can also tell the difference between male and female bobcats by looking at their home ranges and social dynamics.
Males typically have larger ranges so they can mate with more females. A single bobcat that covers a large range is most likely a male. The last way to tell the difference between the sexes is by their mannerisms. If you notice a bobcat is with other bobcats, it is more than likely a female.
Can Bobcats Mate With Other Types Of Cats?
Bobcats can mate with other cat species. They are known to mate with domestic house cats and Lynxes. The offspring of a domestic house cat and a bobcat are often unfertile and can have a lot of genetic issues, whereas the offspring of bobcats and Lynxes have a better outcome. Bobcats cannot mate with mountain lions.
What Kind Of Bobcat Hybrids Exist?
The most common hybrid of a bobcat is the blynx or the lynxcat. This is a hybrid between a bobcat and another species of lynx. It is important to note that a bobcat is a species of lynx. It is specifically the lynx rufus. The bobcat can mate with another species within the genus lynx.
Because bobcats are of the genus lynx, lynxcat hybrids tend to have a good outcome in terms of survival. The exact appearance will depend on the species of lynx involved in the hybrid. For example, the Eurasian lynx will create a more spotted appearance than the Canada lynx.
There have been some hybrids of a bobcat and a domestic house cat. Though several breeds have claimed to have descended from this hybrid, there have not been any tests to scrutinize these claims. In fact, the few hybrids between domestic cats and bobcats that have been found, are infertile.