While previously seen as endangered species, bobcats are now enjoying a rapid increase in population, often becoming a menace to many families. Bobcats destroy livestock and our pets. Rabid bobcats can get aggressive and attack you and your loved ones hence the need to get rid of them.
You can get rid of bobcats by luring and trapping them while making your home less comfortable for them. This involves clearing excess vegetation from, ensuring they don’t readily see food around and further scaring them off with a combination of air and motion-activated sprinklers.
Bobcats are intelligent and persistent animals. Trapping them is not enough; you have to make your property less habitable for them. You must also be careful when you approach them; a rabid bobcat will attack you and harm you. There is so much you should know about getting rid of bobcats.
How to Get Rid of Bobcats in Your Yard
Agreed, the primary way to get rid of bobcats from your yard is trapping them. But this alone wouldn’t work. So long the conditions in your yard are attractive and supportive of bobcat habitation, they would eventually come back. Therefore, we have to explore more sustainable means of ridding bobcats from our yards.
Bobcats are shy and reclusive animals. They prefer to have hiding spots in your yard rather than parading themselves in the open. This is why you must make sure to cut your grass diligently. Avoid having excess vegetation that would give the bobcats a spot to hide.
To rid bobcats from your yard, they mustn’t find easy food in your yard. Makes sure you don’t leave water outside carelessly. Also, if your pets are indoors, then you should take their food indoors as well. Bobcats also eat fruits – especially ripe fruits. So ensure you quickly pick off the ripe fruits from your trees and the fallen ones.
Here is another thing. Bobcats being carnivorous are apt rodent hunters. These rodents, in most cases, are attracted to your pet food and bird seeds. Keeping out bobcats, therefore, implies keeping these rodents out by ensuring that you don’t litter your yard with such bird seeds.
Take note that if bobcats can’t easily find rodents to feed on, they will turn on your pet and livestock. Bobcats can attack chicken, domestic cats, and even dogs for food. Therefore, carefully watch on your pets and don’t easily allow them to roam about at night, which is the preferred hunting time of bobcats.
Fencing your yard also will go a long way in keeping bobcats off. Bobcats are excellent climbers so your fencing must have a minimum height of six feet. The bottom should yet penetrate another 8 inches below ground level. 13 inches is optimal for the width of such fence.
How Do You Scare off a Bobcat?
Bobcats are shy animals; they don’t like noise. Simply banging pans together can scare off bobcats. There even more automatic options for you. Using motion-activated systems to generate noise anytime the bobcat comes in will scare them off.
A powerful option of such bobcat sound repellant is the ultrasound audible alarm repeller. This device can emit discomfiting sounds (for the bobcat) and are motion activated.
When the bobcat intrudes, it will send off the alarm which stresses the bobcat, scaring it off. In some cases, some sound repellers combine a vibrant LED light bar, the adjustable alarm and the ultrasound element to make sure the bobcat is sufficiently agitated and scared off your home. These systems can monitor about 5,000 sq/ft and can detect an intruding bobcat even 30 feet off.
If you are not using such sound repeller systems, you can use motion-activated sprinklers. The motion detector which is fitted to a ready garden hose, works all through the day, working at a range of 105 degrees. Once the motion detector senses the intruding bobcat possibly entering your yard, it will eject a strong jet of water for about three seconds to spook the bobcat. When the bobcat is blasted severally with such jets of water anytime it comes in, it will be scare off sustainably.
Will a Bobcat Attack a House Cat?
Bobcats are instinctive hunters. While they basically feed on rodents, rabbits, deer, and smaller food, there are times they can attack domestic cats for food as well. There have been multiple cases of bobcats preying on domestic cats. Recently, residents of Flagler Beach in Florida reported numerous instances of bobcats attacking their pet cats.
However, it is not the first option of bobcats to attack domestic cats. They would only do so in rare cases of scarcity of their preferred food.
Will Bobcats Attack Dogs?
Yes, bobcats attack dogs. Just like house cats, bobcats can also prey on dogs. However, it is rarer in the case of dogs and mostly dependent on the size of dogs. It is uncharacteristic of bobcats to attack animals far bigger (and more intimidating) than they are.
This is why the possibility is very low that bobcats will attack bigger dogs like rottweilers. Bobcats will also rarely attack mastiffs as well.
A male full grown rottweiler is too huge a prey for bobcat as such a rottweiler can weigh about 120lbs. Make bobcats weigh far less at 27lb. So you see the massive gap. One thing to note also is that rottweilers are more muscular than bobcats.
They have bigger mouths (as well as stronger jaws) compared to bobcats which have smaller mouths. If a bobcat attacks a rottweiler, the rottweiler is sure to get defensive and attack the bobcat back. While a bobcat bite or scratch may not do much to penetrate the rottweiler ‘s skin, a rottweiler bite on the other hand can be very damaging to the bobcat – even crushing its bones and muscles. A bite on the neck could kill the bobcat immediately.
While bobcats boast greater agility, the bigger nature of the dog could compensate for such deficit in agility. A good bite is all it needs to disable the bobcat. Humans even struggle against the powerful jaws of bigger dogs – bobcats would fare far worse.
Bigger dogs also have greater strength in their paw punches. More importantly, most big dogs are natural fighters and are more prone to savage aggression than bobcats. This makes it unwise for bobcats to attack bigger dogs.
Are Bobcats Dangerous?
Bobcats are naturally shy and don’t enjoy the company of humans. Therefore, it is improbable that a bobcat can get aggressive enough to attack humans. Humans are far bigger than bobcats are – and they rightly identify humans are predators.
Bobcats can, however, get aggressive enough to attack you if they have rabies. You can tell if the bobcat is foaming at the mouth or if they seem quite tattered and sluggish.
Bobcats will also attack you when it has something to defend – its very life or that of her kittens. Female bobcats are known for their aggression and would attack even supposed predators who try to touch her kittens.
Sadly, these kittens weighing barely 13 pounds can be so small to be mistaken for normal house cats by your little ones. Be sure to keep your family away from bobcats to avoid such attacks. Properly educate your little ones on the dangers wildlife like bobcat pose so they can maintain their distance from them.
Except for finding food into your home, bobcats will not launch an affront attack on you unprovoked. If you keep your home free of rodents, diligently maintain your garden and safeguard your pets and chickens, it is very rare for you to come across a bobcat in the first place.
Do Bobcats Travel in Pairs?
It is uncommon to see bobcats traveling in pairs. By their social behavior, bobcats are solitary animals who are more active at night. First, it is even rare for you to see a bobcat during the day in an urban setting – even far more unusual to see them in pairs.
Bobcats don’t hunt in a pack like foxes or lions. Also, they don’t form long-lasting social bonds. You will be impressed to learn that male bobcats are loners and will strongly maintain their territory shunning off other male bobcats.
Bobcats, therefore, don’t move far from their territory. They make sure to warn other bobcats off their “space” by marking such territories with their feces, urine scents while going as far as leaving conspicuous and distinct claw marks on surrounding trees.
Those rare cases of seeing a colony of bobcats together are during the mating season. The male bobcats will travel to neighboring female territories during this breeding season or even relocate much farther to mate. This happens during winter.
Being polygamous by nature, bobcats can have multiple mating partners during this season. The kittens are quick to separate from their mothers after a couple of weeks. This is why it is rare to see bobcats traveling in pairs.
Can You Kill Bobcats?
Bobcats are protected species in most American states. With a healthy increase in the population of bobcats, many are proposing a reversal of their status as endangered species so they can be hunted freely. While you can kill an aggressive or invasive bobcat (on the ground of self-defense) on your property, sport hunting of bobcat is very regulated in most American states.
Most states, according to their department of game & inland fisheries, operate open and closed hunting season. For example, approximately 3,000 bobcats are hunted and trapped in Missouri. Missouri itself boasts a healthy population of bobcats numbered at about 18,000 – and they are yet increasing rapidly.
This hunting (bound by the Wildlife Code for regulations) is done during the official bobcat hunting and trapping season. In Missouri, this season starts from November 15 each year and ends February 15. The firearm you use is also regulated, just like your choice of bows and slingshots. It is strictly prohibited during the hunting season to kill bobcats with fully automatic weapons.
During November, if you must use a shotgun, it shouldn’t be bigger than a No. 4 shot or better still a lesser caliber rimfire rifle. In the hunting season, hunting starts 30 minutes before sunrise, and it is illegal to hunt bobcats any later than 30 minutes after sunset. Similarly, in Massachusetts, you can only hunt bobcats after you have procured your permits and licenses from MassFishHunt.
Do Bobcats Carry Diseases?
Bobcats are famed for the Bobcat Fever. This is caused by a deadly parasite called Cytauxzoonfelis for which bobcats are the natural hosts. This is spread to them from ticks. The protozoa are transferred from the tick to bobcat when it bites the bobcat.
The dominant tick responsible for this is Amblyomma americanum, famously known as the lone star tick. Bobcat fever is widespread during April to September, where the vector is more active. Now once the parasite penetrates the system of the bobcat, it attacks the immunity of the bobcat via destroying its macrophage cells.
Upon successful infestation by the protozoa, these macrophage cells unnaturally expand, thereby overloading the blood cells and clogging free blood circulation. This can result in organ failure, and if contracted by your domestic cat can kill it.
Bobcat fever has been reported in domestic cats in American states like Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
How Can You Tell Bobcat Fever?
Your house cat can show symptoms of the bobcat fever within an average of 7 days after being bitten by the tick. If this tick successfully passes this protozoan parasite to your cat, you will notice acute depression in your cat (your once energetic and vibrant cat can suddenly experience a behavioral shift and get so gloomy), acute fatigue, dehydration and loss of appetite.
If unattended to, an advanced bobcat fever can kill your cat within three days. If the cat survives the bobcat fever infection, it is most likely going to retain the disease for much longer.
Medicinal diagnosis of bobcat fever is done by PCR testing where the blood parasite is closely observed from a microscope to know the state of the piroplasms.
How Do You Treat Bobcat Fever?
If your cat has bobcat fever, a veterinary doctor will prescribe anti-parasitic drugs for it. It can be complemented with supportive care procedures like blood transfusion and intravenous fluids. Also, for the fact that the cat could lose appetite, the cat will be given nutritional support. Survival rate is low if the bobcat fever is advanced.
There is no vaccine at present to prevent bobcat fever. There has however been some encouraging research in the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine spearheaded by the illustrious researcher Dr. Leah Cohn. Dr. Leah Cohn is working alongside Dr. David Bird and Dr. Adam Birkenheuer to unveil new remedies for bobcat fever.
These researchers are carefully studying previous medicines that have shown impressive success in treating protozoan infections. Updates from the North Carolina State website reveal that the research has “raised the Cytauxzoonosis survival rate from less than 25 percent to 60 percent.” This strengthens the possibility of the collaboration between Dr. Birkenheuer and Dr. Cohen to produce a vaccine for preventing bobcat fever.
While a concrete vaccine is yet to be discovered, on your own, you can significantly reduce the chances of your cat getting infested with the bobcat fever. This is by preventing your cat from roaming aimlessly about outdoors. By being indoors more, the chances are lesser for the protozoan carrying tick to bite them.
You can also use a feline tick preventative product which your veterinary doctor has approved for you to take your cat outdoors. As said, make sure your home is less conducive for bobcats by clearing up excess vegetation and keeping rodents far away. Also, if you have your dogs and cats living together, make it a regular practice to detick your dogs.
Do Bobcats Cover Their Kill?
Bobcats are smart and seclusive. Sometimes, they kill preys and would be unable to finish eating them at once. If they don’t carry the remnant of their kill along, they would like to keep it safely so they can come back and finish eating it. Bobcats don’t share their kill normally like other hunting packs.
They very well know if they leave the remnant there on the surface, other carnivores like coyotes, foxes would come and steal their pray away. So they will hide the prey by covering it.
When a bobcat wants to hide its kill for later consumption, it will cover the carcass with leaves, grass, dirt, or snow. Once in a while, they will come back to dig the leftover and eat it at once or bury what they couldn’t finish again.
This is called the “caching” behaviors in wildlife. Such caching habit is displayed by bigger carnivores like leopards who tend to keep their food on the short term. However, there are cases where other hunters like bears and ravens have been known to raid this hidden food and make away with it.