Bobcat lynx in Arizona – facts of the mammal “lynx rufus”

bobcat in Arizona

Through our backyard we experienced a bobcat observing his prey. The bobcat has a short tail with black fur on the top.  This wildcat’s face is wide as you can see in the pictures below.  You can also view the longer fur on their cheeks.

There are four medium-sized, wild-cat, mammal species of Lynx genus.  The bobcat and the Canadian bobcat lynx are the smallest of the species.

Canada bobcat
Canadian Lynx is Canada’s bobcat

Lynx canadensis, Canada Lynx has a dense brown-silvery coat.  Look at the size of those large furry feet that it uses as snowshoes!  Canadian Lynx live in Minnesota, Maine, northwestern US and across Canada.  This lynx was hunted for its fur to almost extinction.  The Canadian Lynx is now protected by law.

Bobcat mammals can be found from northern Mexico into the Sonoran Desert, throughout the US and into southern Canada. They are the most common wildcat animals in North America.

Arizona Bobcat wildlife
Bobcat Lynx in Arizona

Note the ears of the bobcat, they are black-tipped and pointed. The eyes of this lynx are yellow with black pupils.

wild cats bobcats
Bobcat animal at AZ Desert Museum

It is uncommon to view a bobcat in the wild because they are very elusive.  Bobcats are most active during dawn and dusk; which is called crepuscular.  We felt very lucky for this viewing opportunity; but our small dog was going crazy barking at the wild cat.

Arizona wild cat animal bobcat
bobcat lynx in the desert

In the photo above, the bobcat was staring right at our Jack Russell dog.

A few more facts about the bobcat lynx:

  • Its color ranges from orange-ish brown to pale gray with black spots
  • Excellent climber
  • Bobcats avoid water but will swim if they need to
  • is territorial and largely solitary
  • like most cats, the bobcat marks its territory with urine or feces
  • its hind legs are longer than its front legs
  • bobcats have a main den but they do not mind sleeping in our yards
  • the predators of a bobcat are mountain lions, coyotes and humans
  • bobcat lynx can live 13-15 years
  • Mating season is spring – female bobcats have 2-3 kittens
bobcat species
Arizona wild cat lynx

Generally, Bobcat lynx weighs between 15 and 30 pounds. The bobcat animal I was watching looked bigger than 30 pounds. Males are larger than the females so I would say this wildcat was a male.

bobcat wildcat in tucson
bobcat animal Arizona

When bobcats roar or growl, it is so rough and deep they are often mistaken for a mountain lion.

tucson arizona bobcat animal
bobcat lynx rufus in the Sonoran desert

The largest bobcat lynx ever recorded was 60 lbs (27 kg).  It came from Canada.  How high can a bobcat jump?  This Arizona lynx rufus, Bobcat, can jump as high as twelve feet!

male bobcat lynx in arizona
Bobcat male animal hunting prey

Bobcats are carnivores and love to eat rabbits, birds, lizards, rodents and snakes.  Occasionally they will kill a deer.

Two or three females live in the male bobcat’s territory.  He mates with all of them and will father the litters.  The male bobcat feeds the mothers and all the kittens.

bobcat mammal male cat hunting
AZ bobcat lynx muscular body

The bobcat is able to go for long periods without food which is good because with my dogs barking this wildcat finally became frustrated and vanished in a blink of an eye.

How fast can the bobcat run? – Up to 30 miles per hour –  Bobcats prefer to walk which makes them a very quiet hunter.  Bobcat lynx ambush their prey by waiting motionless and then pouncing on it, exactly like the picture above.

For more facts about the bobcat lynx watch this short youtube video.

This Arizona bobcat lynx experience was amazing!  We were privy to 9-10 minutes of this  wildcat’s life.  If the dogs were not outside, we may have witnessed much more!


Author: tjsgarden

We are a family that loves the Arizona Desert. A lot of research and team efforts go into our articles and photos. Come discover the beauty and mystery with us. Don't forget your sunscreen!

21 thoughts on “Bobcat lynx in Arizona – facts of the mammal “lynx rufus””

  1. I was searching for information when I came across this site. We have a bobcat that visits us weekly and looks in our windows! I was fortunate enough to be able to photograph “him” several times. Thanks for the information!


  2. Very cute picture!My btrhoer in law went to Home Depot one time and saw a car with a *tiger* in the back of it. (He took a camera photo and sent it to us. Bizarre.) And then later that month, it was in the news that some guy had a tiger in its backyard and the neighbors complained and he got arrested. He lived about 5 minutes away from us. Think of all the kiddos in the area if the tiger got out! Gasp!


  3. Wow you sure do get to see some great stuff…neffer herd of the Bobcat before 🙂 Wez fick over here..BOL..Don’t forget to pop by tomorrow..Youz gotta’s our competition 🙂 wez could of had our ( cos theyz mine toz 🙂 ) babies in it..
    Have a great day..Hugs Mollie xx


  4. that must have been thrilling for you! I have seen a Canadian lynx once in the foothills of Banff National Park in Alberta.. here on Vancouver Island we have cougars, but only the unfortunate run into them.. they are nasty if beautiful creatures.


      1. You capture their esscnee so well.I remember as a young child being in the car at night coming home down a dirt road and seeing a bobcat emerge from the dark in the air from one side of the car’s headlights, hit the center of the road (good Dad was going slow) and disappearing into the dark on the otherside. I’ll never forget it. Not soon after that, there were bounties put on the cats from the state and haven’t seen (or heard) about any since.


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