Although the bobcat is generally most active around sunset and sunrise, in some parts of its range it is more nocturnal, while in other areas it is commonly seen during the daytime, particular over winter, when prey is more scarce (2) (6). An exclusive carnivore, the bobcat’s diet is dominated by rabbits and hares, but it will also take a wide variety of other prey, ranging in size from mice to deer (2) (4) (6) (7). It is capable of taking prey with a weight at ten times its own body weight (3). Being a patient hunter, it either sits and waits in ambush along game trails and at burrow entrances, or will patrol its range stealthily, all the time looking and listening for prey, which is captured with a short burst of speed (2) (6).
Like most other cats, the bobcat has a primarily solitary lifestyle, with individuals generally avoiding each other except during the breeding season (2) (6). Home territories are widely variable depending on the habitat, and range from 6 to 325 square kilometres (3). Males and females both maintain their territories by scent-marking, using faeces, urine, scrapes and anal secretions (2) (6) (7). Male home ranges generally overlap with those of other males as well as females (3).
Normally, a mature female bobcat will produce a single litter each year, with a peak breeding season between February and April (2) (6). The gestation period lasts around 63 days, with the average litter size being around three kittens, but up to as many as six (2) (6) (7). At three to five months old, the young begin to travel with the mother, and typically remain dependant until around seven months of age, but eventually disperse outside of the natal range (6). Females are ready to breed when just a year old, while males do not mate until their second year (2) (7).