How To Tell a Cat from a Bobcat

Blue and Red Bobcats

How To Tell a Cat from a Bobcat


Domestic Cat in TreeI get emails like this a couple times a week, so I thought maybe people searching the Internet for answers might be able to find this page on their own.

Is this a bobcat? My pitbull attacked the Bobcat while it was busy mating with a domestic cat. I thought it was a house cat till i ordered my dog off it then this massive cat rose up and made a God awful growl before running up tree. Where as i took these pictures keep in mind that is a big oak tree it is up in.

Can you identify it from these pics.  Thanks  D”

Domestic Cat in Tree

My Response

It is a domestic cat. It has a ringed tail, that is too long to be a bobcat. The face is fluffy, but not the typical ruff style of the bobcat and the muzzle is not as square as a bobcat. Urban myths notwithstanding, there has never been documented proof of bobcats mating with domestic cats.

Domestic Cat in TreeIf you call your local humane society and tell them there are cats mating in your yard and you want a rescue group to come trap and fix them, they can usually help. Your dog saved a litter from being conceived last night, but the cats will just find a more quiet spot.  Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue”


What Bobcats Look Like

Below is a photo of two native Florida bobcats.  The one on the left is a “red” bobcat and the one on the right is a “blue” bobcat.  Their coat colors can run anything between the two.



Blue and Red Bobcats

More about bobcats here:


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