Bobcats VS Wolverines – How They Compare And Who Would Win In A Fight

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Published on December 15, 2022
Last Updated on October 11, 2023

Bobcats and wolverines are among the many mammals that live in the North American wild. While they are both predators, these animals have many features that make them unique.

Bobcats and wolverines are both predators, but the wolverine is also a scavenger that will eat carcasses. A wolverine is slightly larger and stronger than a bobcat, but the bobcat has better overall senses. 

There is much more to learn about these animals, such as what they look like and who would win in a fight. Join us at Floofmania as we take a deep dive into the differences and similarities between bobcats and wolverines!

Where Do Bobcats And Wolverines Live?

Bobcats live in many types of habitats, such as coastal swamps, forests, scrublands, and deserts. Bobcats are only native to North America, but on rare occasions, they have been spotted in northern Mexico.

As for wolverines, they are also adaptable since wolverines can live in the tundra, boreal forests, alpine forests, grasslands, and more. Wolverines can be found in the northern latitudes of North America, but also in Asia and Europe.

How Big Is A Bobcat Compared To A Wolverine?

Adult bobcats can reach 28-37 inches in length and weigh up to 35 pounds. As for wolverines, an average wolverine is 33-44 inches long and weighs up to 40 pounds.

Do Bobcats And Wolverines Look Alike?

Wolverine sitting on a pile of dirt, its eyes fixed at what's in front of it.

Bobcats and wolverines do not look alike in the slightest! Other than their huge differences in head and body structure, coat colors, and more, these animals are not from the same family.

The bobcat is from the cat, or Felidae family, which includes jaguars, cougars, and your regular house cat, while wolverines are from the weasel, or Mustelidae family. As such, these animals have very different traits, so let’s take a closer look at each.

The wolverine has a unique body and head structure and looks quite similar to a small bear or skunk with a large body, large paws, short legs, and a small, rounded head with round ears

Wolverines have dense, long fur that is dark brown to black with a reddish tinge. They have two creamy white or goldish stripes that curve on the sides of their bodies and a similar-colored stripe above their eyes that look like long, curved eyebrows.

Closeup of a bobcat's face.

Bobcats have standard feline features, but they are twice the size of an average household cat. They have big paws, long legs, tufted and pointed ears, a short tail, and a short snout.

A bobcat’s typical coat colors are beige, tan, and brown with white and black spots and lines that resemble a diluted-colored cheetah. They have black facial markings and white tufts on their faces.

As such, the bobcat looks a lot more like a large cat whereas wolverines look like small bears. Bobcats tend to have more variations in coat colors and patterns while wolverines have more solid colors that range from creamy white to black.

Are Bobcats Faster Than Wolverines?

Bobcats and wolverines can both run up to 30 miles an hour, so there is not much competition between these two when it comes to speed.

However, we can pick a “winner” based on stamina! Bobcats can run up to 30 miles an hour, but only in short bursts. On the other hand, wolverines are said to have a lot of stamina, which means wolverines can likely outrun bobcats.

The wolverine has much more endurance than the bobcat and the wolverine will likely outrun a bobcat. When it comes to stalking or hunting prey, the bobcat can travel up to 7 miles in an evening while the wolverine can travel up to 15 miles within a day.

How Do Bobcats And Wolverines’ Senses Compare?

Wolverine standing on a rock, stretching its paws towards another rock as it is about to move from one to the other.

Bobcats are well-rounded when it comes to senses since bobcats have excellent hearing and vision along with a decent sense of smell. This is notable since other big cats like cougars have a bad sense of smell.

Wolverines have excellent senses of smell since they can smell prey under 20 feet of snow! Unfortunately, wolverines only have average hearing and weak eyesight.

Therefore, the bobcat has the better senses since only their sense of smell is not as sharp as vision and hearing whilst the wolverine only has a good sense of smell with poor eyesight and decent hearing.

Do Bobcats And Wolverines Make Similar Sounds?

Bobcats make a variety of noises, but most bobcat vocalizations sound like a deep roar but are less intimidating than a lion’s roar. Bobcats can also “scream!” If you want to hear what both sound like, check out this video:

As for wolverines, wolverines sound like they coo or chirp when they communicate with their babies. Normally, wolverines sound like they are snarling and making a low growl when doing other activities like burrowing. Check it out for yourself:

Whilst both animals can have low vocalizations, the wolverine’s sounds tend to sound “higher pitched” than the bobcats. 

What Are Bobcats And Wolverines’ Main Prey?

Wolverines and bobcats both prey on small mammals like rodents and rabbits. Bobcats can also eat reptiles and birds when given the chance, and the largest mammal they have been known to hunt is deer.

You can learn more about a bobcat’s typical prey by reading our article, “The Bobcat’s Hunting Behavior.”

Notably, wolverines are both scavengers and predators. Wolverines will eat the carcasses of any large animal they come across, such as deer and elk, but they aren’t likely to specifically hunt for these big animals like bobcats are.

Do Bobcats And Wolverines Usually Fight?

Bobcat sitting on dead tree stump.

Bobcats and wolverines that share territory, in parts of Canada for example, may get into fights with each other. It is more likely that the wolverine will initiate the fight since wolverines are known for being aggressive animals.

Which Animal Is More Aggressive?

Without a doubt, the wolverine is more aggressive than the bobcat. Wolverines are famously known for having bad tempers as tough and ferocious animals. Many people have taken videos of them fighting larger predators, such as bears.

Bobcats are still aggressive in their own right, but they are less likely to initiate a fight with another predator. On the other hand, the wolverine will likely not back down once they see another potential meal, be it predator or prey.

Who Would Win In A Fight Between A Bobcat And A Wolverine?

Now that we know a bit more about these predators, let’s take a quick look at their overall features and figure out who would triumph in a battle!

Height28-37 inches long33-44 inches long
Weight35 pounds40 pounds
Speed30 miles per hour30 miles per hour
Teeth Length1 inch long2 ½ inches long for incisors 
SensesStrong eyesight and hearing, a decent sense of smellExcellent sense of smell, poor eyesight, average hearing

When it comes to overall stats, there is no doubt that a wolverine would be more likely to win a fight against a bobcat. Despite having a weak sense of hearing and vision, the wolverine is more ferocious and stronger than a bobcat.

Wolverines are very aggressive animals that have been known to scare off other predators, like a pack of wolves and bears. The sheer grit alone can help a wolverine prevail since wolverines will be determined to keep fighting.

Additionally, the wolverine just has the upper hand when it comes to the fight. The wolverine has more stamina than the bobcat to outlast the fight along with longer teeth that can easily harm the bobcat.

Author: Allison Marie Dinglasan

Hello! I am Allison, an avid writer for 6 years with a deep interest in animals since I was a child. I grew up on Animal Planet and animal books and often did rescue work for stray and sickly cats, dogs, and birds in my area, which led to over 60 rescues. My future goal is to be a veterinarian to have a more hands-on approach to helping and learning about animals!


  • Allison Marie Dinglasan

    Hello! I am Allison, an avid writer for 6 years with a deep interest in animals since I was a child. I grew up on Animal Planet and animal books and often did rescue work for stray and sickly cats, dogs, and birds in my area, which led to over 60 rescues. My future goal is to be a veterinarian to have a more hands-on approach to helping and learning about animals!

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