Watch a ‘Quiet as a Mouse’ Bobcat Sneak Up on a Deer and Pounce for Its Dinner

Written by Kellianne Matthews
Updated: November 17, 2023
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Key Points:

  • Bobcats are considered to be the smallest kind of lynx.
  • Impressively agile, they are capable of attacking with astonishing speed.
  • They are also capable of taking on larger prey, as seen in this video.

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “as quiet as a mouse,” but what about the bobcat? This nimble feline can sneak up on its prey with surprising stealth in order to make a successful hunt. Recently, a video surfaced that showcased this incredible agility and grace when a bobcat silently snuck up on three deer grazing on a steep hillside. The ensuing battle between the two animals was an epic tale worthy of being retold.

Watch the Exciting Video Below!

A Bobcat on the Prowl

In the video, we see the bobcat quietly creeping up behind the lowest deer on the hillside, deliberately moving with extreme stealth and slowness. The bobcat inches slowly toward the deer until he is just inches behind it. The bobcat’s tail twitches slightly, which is the only indication that something is going to happen, and then pounces with lightning speed.

It leaps onto the deer’s back and flips it over as they both roll down the hill in an intense struggle for victory. The deer is clearly several times larger than the bobcat, but the skill of the bobcat cannot be matched. As the two animals plummet down the hill, each one rolling and flipping over the other in quick succession, they hit a fallen tree.  At this point, it looks like the deer just might escape as it throws its body up and forward away from the bobcat. However, this is quickly thwarted by an impressive display of agility from the bobcat, who grabs onto the deer and swings it back toward him mid-tumble, and the two resume their rolling tumble down the cliffside.

Head shot of a bobcat

Bobcats are cute, wild, and yet ferocious medium-sized cats that live just about anywhere in North America.

©Victor Arita/Shutterstock.com

To watch such a savvy hunter employ its skills so masterfully is quite remarkable. The quickness and precision of this particular bobcat left viewers in awe as it demonstrated just how well nature has equipped these felines to survive in their environment despite their small size relative to their prey. It’s almost enough to make you root for this cunning cat!

This amazing video offers us a glimpse into how nature works when predators have to hunt for food. It also serves as a reminder that our wild spaces are full of surprises if you take the time to observe them closely enough — you never know what you might find! So next time you venture out into nature, be sure to keep your eyes peeled; you just might get lucky enough to witness something as captivating as this bobcat sneaking up on its dinner!

Do Bobcats Normally Attack Deer?

Are bobcats dangerous - Bobcat

Bobcats may take on deer and have even been known to pilfer pythons’ eggs

©Laurie E Wilson/Shutterstock.com

Only occasionally. Several videos exist of these wild felines taking on unsuspecting cervids in an attempt to procure their supper, pouncing on their victims, and biting their throats.

When no deer are in their immediate vicinity, bobcats focus on mice, rabbits, rats, and squirrels.

They also hunt birds and have been known to take on both wild and domestic turkeys, as well.

But perhaps their most impressive feat is their ability to pilfer Burmese pythons’ eggs in the absence of the parent. A truly high-risk venture that they have been known to undertake successfully, to the astonishment of wildlife experts.

How Big Are Bobcats?

Bobcat (Lynx rufus) Kicks Up Snow on Log Winter - captive animal

©Holly Kuchera/Shutterstock.com

Bobcats vary in size throughout their lives. When they are born, they are small and about the size of a house cat, weighing only a few ounces. As they grow older and reach adulthood, bobcats can reach up to twice the size of a house cat, with a body length of around 24-30 inches and a weight of up to 40 pounds.

Females tend to be slightly smaller than males. As bobcats age, they can reach up to 45 pounds, though this is rare. Their tail is typically about 7-13 inches long and can help to identify their age.

Bobcats can also be identified by their fur, which is typically greyish-brown to reddish-yellow in color. Their fur can also vary in length depending on the season. During the winter months, they tend to have thicker fur to help keep them warm.

Are All Cats “Stealth” Predators?

Cheetah on the hunt

While most cat species are ambush predators, cheetahs rely on their speed to take down prey via hot pursuit.

©Kandfoto/iStock via Getty Images

Almost every species of cat in the animal kingdom, whether wild or domestic, is a stealth (or ambush) predator. That means that they conceal themselves, watch the prey, even stalk the prey, and when the opportunity is ripe, they pounce!

Some cats like leopards are skilled at taking cover in trees or dense underbrush, then securing their prey at the right moment. Surprisingly, the black-footed cat–the smallest wild cat in Africa–ranks 1st as the deadliest ambush predator with a kill rate of 60%. This nocturnal cat is able to kill and consume over 10 rodents or small birds in a single evening. Lions, on the other hand, only achieve successful kills 20-25% of the time on average.

One variety of wild cat that is not an ambush predator is the Cheetah. With the ability to reach speeds of 50-80 mph, this ultra-fast feline stalks its prey, looking for the right moment to chase, not pounce. The cheetah will get as close as possible to its chosen target, and then launch into a pursuit of the animal. Once it comes upon the animal, it will trip it with its dew claw, clamp onto its neck with its jaws, and hold on until the animal perishes.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Anita Elder Design


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About the Author

Kellianne Matthews is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on anthrozoology, conservation, human-animal relationships, and animal behavior. Kellianne has been writing and researching animals for over ten years and has decades of hands-on experience working with a variety of different animals. She holds a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University, which she earned in 2017. A resident of Utah, Kellianne enjoys creating, exploring and learning new things, analyzing movies, caring for animals, and playing with her cats.

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