Bobcats in Indiana

Bobcats, the only resident native wild cat in Indiana, are a species of great curiosity. Because they are generally a solitary and secretive animal, bobcats often leave Hoosier wanting to know more about these unique mammals.Bobcat

Between 1970 and 2016, the Indiana DNR received bobcat reports from 68 counties. Although bobcat reports are more common in southern Indiana, confirmed reports have been received from its west-central and northern regions.

A study conducted by the DNR in south-central Indiana revealed that bobcats are capable of dispersing up to 100 miles from where they were born. Their ability to cover long distances allows them to spread into available habitat. It also puts them close to roadways. Vehicle collisions are a common cause of bobcat mortalities.

General description

The bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a moderate-sized member of the cat family. Its most recognizable feature is a stubby tail 4–5 inches long. Bobcats range in length from 30–50 inches, stand about 2 feet high and weigh 15–30 pounds. Large tufts of fur on the cheeks are characteristic of the species. The fur is reddish-brown or tan above with a white belly. The species has black marks on the inside of the legs, and often black spots or streaks throughout the coat, though these are sometimes light-colored and not easily noticeable, depending on the individual animal. Bobcats may live as long as 10–12 years in the wild. Bobcat vocalizations can sound eerie at nighttime, but are rarely heard by people.