Attracting Bobcats To Your Property (Is It A Good Idea?)

Bobcats (lynx rufus) are very adaptable animals, so they are found in most of North America. These wild cats are twice as big as domestic cats and are known for their beautifully patterned fur, and bobbed tails where their name came from. 

Their cute appearance might make you want to keep them but will that be a good idea? What attracts bobcats and how do you know there is one around? 

Find everything you need to know about these questions here in Floofmania.

Is It A Good Idea To Attract Bobcats To Your Property?

Attracting bobcats to your property is probably a bad idea. No matter how irresistible their cuteness and beautiful features are, these animals are still wild cats and proficient predators. If you provoke them, bobcats have sharp claws and teeth that can cause you injuries.

Bobcats’ prey includes smaller animals like rabbits and rodents. If you have pets like small dogs, cats, or rabbits, or a farm with chickens, bobcats may be tempted to turn them into meals. They might also transmit harmful diseases like rabies.

A bobcat with rabies is also more dangerous. Rabies affects the brain and makes them act aggressively. Encountering an infected bobcat can cause injuries and infection if you are not careful. 

Children can also be at risk in the presence of these animals. They have no means to protect themselves and fight off this wild cat if it gets aggressive. Keeping them away might be a better idea for your and their safety.

Purposely luring bobcats near your property might also make your neighbors unhappy. Who would want wild animals near their homes, especially when they pose a danger?

Closeup of a bobcat walking

How To Attract Bobcats To Your Property

If you do insist on attracting bobcats near your home, however here are some ways you might find helpful. These are tips shared by hunters who attract bobcats for game.

If you want to attract bobcats, leaving food and water in the open would do the trick. Bobcats are carnivores. Most of their diet consists of meat from smaller animals available within their ecosystem. You can choose to leave some pieces of meat like rabbit or poultry.

Just make sure that the food is fresh. As bobcats are wild animals, their digestive systems are not made for processed food. Spoiled food is also not good for them. It may lead to diseases or poisoning.

A bobcat lying in the opening of a cave, licking its paw.

Bobcats, like humans and other animals, also drink water. This is important to keep their bodies hydrated. That is why they live in places where sources of freshwater like streams and lakes are available.

However, if you don’t want these bobcats snooping around your home, don’t leave any food or drink outside. Make sure that if you have pets, they and their food are kept securely inside your house. Bobcats may be tempted to snatch them and turn them into snacks. Sturdy fences are also a good idea.

Can I Attract Bobcats With Sounds?

You can attract bobcats with sounds. Bobcats have an excellent sense of hearing. Their pointy and cup-shaped ears are sensitive to sound and can hear up to 65,000 Hz! This incredible characteristic greatly helps them in looking for food. They listen to movements in their surroundings to detect small animals they can eat.

Hunters have a clever way of attracting these wildcats. They usually use whistles to mimic the sound of a rabbit in distress. Rabbits are one of the bobcat’s usual prey. Some also use squirrel or bird distress sounds. When bobcats hear the sound of the distressed animal, they would sneak up to check the origin of the sound, hoping for an easy catch.

Bobcats are opportunistic hunters. They are not as big and fast as other predators around. So, if they notice prey they can easily capture, they will try to take the chance.

Are There Other Methods Of Attracting Bobcats?

There are other methods used to attract these felines. These are usually objects that capitalize on the bobcat’s senses and hunting instincts. 

  • Mineral licks
  • Corn
  • Anise oil or herbal oils
  • Meat (poultry, rabbit, mice, or fish)
  • Feathers or fur

Mineral licks and corn can be used in attracting bobcats. Although it does not directly attract the bobcat, it lures smaller animals like rodents which bobcats hunt for prey. Eventually, the bobcat will follow these smaller animals.

Mineral licks can naturally exist in the environment or be artificial. These provide vital mineral nutrients that animals need for a stronger body. As these are important for good health, animals would not pass on having a taste.

Anise Oil and other herbal oils can also be used in luring bobcats. Musky scents attract these wild cats. Even though it isn’t food for them, these curious cats would still stop by and sniff. But real food can also do the trick as previously mentioned. A piece of meat or fish, enough for the bobcat to smell and notice can easily be used to attract them.

You can also hang feathers or fur. Bobcats are also visual hunters and are very curious. If their good eyes see such objects moving with the wind, it would spark their interest, thinking that an easy catch is nearby. It’s like waving ribbons in front of a house cat.

Are Bobcats Attracted To Catnip?

Yes! Bobcats are indeed attracted to catnip. Like their feline relatives, most bobcats can be fond of it and experience the same effects. Interesting, isn’t it?

Catnip is an herb famously known to be loved by cats. It contains an ingredient called Nepetalactone which makes cats stimulated and attracted to the plant. The odor from this substance makes them respond with behaviors like rolling over or vocalizations. If you are a fur parent with cats, you might be familiar with these.

However, if they are presented with too much catnip, they can become immune to its effects. Moreover, not all cats, domestic and wild, are attracted to catnip as catnip attraction is hereditary. If the parent cat is not fond of catnip, likely, their young would not be as well.

How Do You Know If There Are Bobcats On Your Property?

The presence of bobcat excretions, scrapes, and signs of movement can tell you if there is a bobcat around or not. Bobcats are secretive and can be rarely seen by humans. However, these signs can tell you if one had been roaming around.

Bobcats love places with plenty of covers. As they are elusive and sneaky hunters, bobcats like places such as forests or those with varying terrain where they can hide and then sneak on their prey. So, if you live in or near places with such conditions, a bobcat may be close by.

Listen For The Bobcat’s Sounds

Bobcats are usually quiet while looking for food. As these wild cats rely on stealth to ambush their prey, being silent is important. But they can also be quite noisy, and the sound they make might be surprising. 

Bobcats, like other felines, can meow, hiss, and growl, although they cannot roar. Listen to how a bobcat makes a screaming sound in this video:

The very loud screaming sound they make is a bobcat’s mating call–it is not a sign of aggression. Bobcats will also moan during the mating season. These sounds are usually described as being similar to a woman screaming or moaning. It can be a little creepy to hear.

Bobcats meow to make their presence known. Their meowing is very similar to the sound house cats make which you might be more familiar with. But don’t be fooled! Their meowing doesn’t mean they want you to pet them. They are wild cats and going near one can be dangerous.

The growling and hissing are done by bobcats when they are defensive or fighting with other predators. When a bobcat is angry, scared, or feels that it is in danger, it would growl and hiss. 

Look Out For Bobcat Scat

Scat can also be a sign that a bobcat was in the vicinity. Its appearance may be confused with a fox’s or coyote’s poop but there are still distinct differences you can take note of.

Bobcat scat is very dense as a result of its diet. It is also relatively harder than a coyote’s poop. They are round and usually ½’’ to 1’’ in diameter. Their scats are also usually found in scrapes on the ground. Sometimes, bobcats also cover these scats and are used as scent markers.

What Do Bobcat Tracks Look Like?

Tracks are signs of movement. If you want to check if a set of tracks belongs to a bobcat, here are a few characteristics to see:

  • The tracks are round and asymmetrical.
  • It has four toes and (usually) does not show claws.
  • The heel pad is larger than the toes.
  • Heel pad resembles the letter “m.” 

Bobcats walk with oversteps—their hind foot steps on top of where the front foot was. Thus, the pattern of bobcat tracks appears as an almost straight line.

Create A Safe Space For The Bobcat 

Bobcats are not endangered and are considered a species of the least concern. This doesn’t mean, however, that bobcats should be hurt or carelessly hunted. These animals are important to the ecosystem. If they go extinct, there would be an imbalance in the food chain that can also cause us many problems.

A Bobcat Needs Shelter

As said before, bobcats can easily adapt to their environment. They can survive in different ecosystems. But this still entails that bobcats have a decent and livable habitat: a shelter that answers their needs for protection, rest, and a space to raise their young.

A bobcat typically lives in caves, hollow logs, or underbrushes. These can keep them hidden from enemies or other predators who might try to harm them. It is perfect for a den.

A bobcat can also choose to have multiple dens. Some of them would have the main den for their sleep and additional dens to rest in while traveling. The additional dens are usually smaller than the main den and are placed in areas they go to less frequently. 

Making sure that these spaces are available to bobcats will increase the rates of their survival in the wild. But if deforestation and other destructions in their habitat occur, these safe spaces would not exist and result in deteriorating numbers of the species.

Author: Jomvie Reyes

Jomvie has been a writer for over 10 years and animals and wildlife are among his favorite topics. Learning and writing about the vast and diverse wildlife from all over the world, is more of a hobby than a job for him. Jomvie loves to watch and observe these remarkable species up close and personal.

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