If you own a house cat, you’ve probably noticed it using its impressive hunting arsenal comprising quick turns and moves, sharp hearing, long leaps, and light-footed pounces. The cat uses these innate hunting skills to catch its prey by surprise, increasing the chances of a successful kill.
Felines, both domestic and wild, are skillful hunters, but the latter’s skills and abilities are more refined and deadlier. A bobcat or wildcat is an example of a wild feline with amazing hunting skills.
The Bobcat’s Hunting Arsenal
Bobcats are carnivores that exhibit the typical predatory behavior of other wild cats. They are about twice the size of the average house cat and have four large canine teeth that help them kill prey. It uses the canine teeth to puncture its prey’s neck area and hold onto it until it bleeds to death.
Apart from the canines, it also has a set of sharp incisors, molars, and premolar teeth which it uses to tear its victim’s flesh into smaller pieces that it can swallow without chewing. They also have tufted ears that help them track their prey and long legs useful for pouncing to catch the prey by surprise.
Bobcats also have sharp protractible claws that help them hold onto their prey and defend themselves against predators.
Many bobcat species are brownish red or brown with a white underbelly. They also have short tails with black tips. They get their name from the shape of their tail, which appears to have been bobbed or cut.
Bobcats are solitary, nocturnal, and opportunistic hunters that would eat any meat they catch. They’re also very elusive, explaining why they’re rarely spotted. However, a family in Onalaska, Wisconsin, got to see a bobcat during hunting and even captured it on video.
The video begins with a commentary about how their backing dog alerted them to the captivating scene a few meters from their living room.
The couple captures a bucking deer struggling to walk downhill, and a closer inspection reveals that a bobcat is latched on its neck, delivering a death grip. The dear manages to break free, but its freedom is short-lived because the video soon shows the bobcat trying to pull the carcass.
They Are Expert Hunters
Bobcats are expert hunters that use stealth to catch their prey by surprise. They often stalk small prey and wait motionlessly before launching a surprise attack, grabbing the animal and severing its spinal cord.
It can leap from 10 feet away and pounce on the prey’s neck, skull, or throat region, which it bites and holds until the prey is dead.
The bobcat’s favorite meal is the cottontail rabbit, but it also eats an extensive diet comprising mice, birds, squirrels, raccoons, and small reptiles. They are often a nuisance to farmers since they feed on goats, sheep, poultry, and calves.
They can also kill house cats and small dogs. Since they are opportunistic hunters, they occasionally kill prey much larger than them.
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