Difference Between Bobcat and Cougar (Bobcat vs Cougar)

bobcat vs cougar

Bobcat and cougar are two different carnivorous living in the Americas, but there is a considerable difference between them in their natural geographic ranges. Also, there are many additional differences between these two wild cats, including physical features and behaviors. In this article, we will emphasize the distinction between Bobcat vs mountain lion.

Scientific Classification of Cougar and Bobcat:

Family FelidaeFalidae
Scientific NameLynx RufusPuma Concolor

Difference Between Bobcats and Mountain Lions:

Is a Bobcat a Mountain Lion?

A bobcat is a medium-sized wildcat, measuring about double the size of domestic cats. It is found in a variety of habitats across the southern half of North America. They are widespread and adaptable predators that are strictly related to the northern dwelling Canadian Lynx. 

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Facts About Bobcat:

  • Bobcats are solitary animals, and they are also considered good swimmers and tree climbers. 
  • But the Bobcats don’t spend much time in trees. 
  • Usually, the Bobcats prefer to rest on rocky ledges in a thicket during the day time.
  • Bobcats have a short bobtail, which is about five inches long. 
  • Most importantly, Bobcats have tufted ears, and it has hair that sticks on the top of the ear. 
  • Usually, bobcats have an orange color and some black spots on their bodies. 
  • 13 sub-species of bobcats have been recognized. 
  • Bobcats are highly terrestrial and mark their area from their urine and feces. 
  • Bobcats are excellent climbers to catch a low flying bird and swimmers, and also have good vision, hearing and sense of smell. 
  • Bobcats sleep in hidden dens, which can be a hollow tree, caves, or rocky gaps. 
  • Bobcats can run up to 30 miles per hour, and they put their back feet on the same spot of the front feet to reduce the sound when hunting. 
  • Bobcats mate primarily in winters, the mating can take place from November until August.
  • After the evolution of 60 to 70 days, the female bobcat usually delivers two to four kittens. 
  • The predators of the kittens are eagles, owl, bears, foxes, and coyotes.

Facts About Cougar: Mountain Lion

  • Cougar is the second largest cat species of North America; cougars are also known as mountain lions.
  • The coats of cougar vary from greyish tan to reddish hue; the tail is black and has black spots on its ear and face. 
  • Cougars have rounded heads, pointed ears, and slim body. 
  • The hinds of cougars are strong, and they also have more giant paws that enable them to curl around and snatch at its prey.  
  • As cougars are ambush hunters, they hide behind rocks or hills waiting for their victims. 
  • Cougars are most active during the dawn and the dusk. 
  • Cougars are excellent swimmers but have a poor sense of smell. 
  • Cougars are solitary animals; the only female cougar can be seen in a group with her cubs.
  • An adult cougar can be seen in a group while mating. 
  • The female cougar will deliver one to six or usually three to four cubs after the gestation of 3 months. 
  • Baby cubs are born blind and deaf; after two weeks, they can open their eyes. 
  • The cubs have spotted bodies which help them blend with grass, bush, mottled sunlight, and protect them from their predators.

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Bobcat Habitat:

The habitat of a bobcat ranges from swamps, desert fringes, and forests. The majority of the bobcats are found in the United States, but they range from Mexico to Southern Canada. Bobcats are also referred to as wildcats. They are twice as big as an average housecat.

Cougar Habitat:

The geographic range of the cougar is the greatest of any wild terrestrial animal in the western hemisphere, from Canadian Yukon through central and South America to the southern tip of Chile.

Bobcat vs Mountain Lions Tracks:

If you can identify animal tracks, you can keep yourself safe while walking in nature. The first thing you want to be able to determine is whether or not the print is feline or canine. Feline prints are easy to distinguish because unlike canine prints, they do not have claws, cats keep their retracted while they walk. You can also determine a feline print because the pad is shaped like the letter ‘M,’ the pad has two lobes on the top and three on the bottom. 

Cougar Tracks:

Cougar footprints are easily distinguished from bobcat print because they are large, measuring up to 4 inches wide and 3 and 1/3 inches long. 

Mountain Lion Tracks:

Bobcat prints are about double the size of the domestic cat, but about half the size of a cougar’s footprints. The bobcat print measures about 1 and 3/8 inches wide by one and ½ inches long.

The Bobcat vs Mountain Lion Sounds:

Cougars are also unable to roar as both the species don’t have the needed larynx. They also communicate using hisses, purr, growls, and screams.

Mountain lion communicates through scents, visual signals, and vocalization. The vocalization made by bobcats includes meows, hisses, yowls, growls, and screams.

Bobcat Versus Mountain Lion: Who Would Win?

One can quickly identify cougars and bobcats by their size because mountain lions are considered large cats. It is 5 to 6 feet in body length, and the average weight is around 135 pounds to 180 pounds. In general, bobcats are mid-sized cats that measure only approximately 2 to 3.5 feet and weigh about 40 pounds. Usually, a fight between bobcat and cougar will be rare to see. With aggressive behavior, a mountain lion will beat any other animal quickly. 

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