Bobcats are found only in North America, but can be found in many different types of habitats from coniferous and mixed forests to deserts and even in swamps in Florida. Bobcats are found in less populated areas in New Jersey and are considered Endangered. Due to heavy hunting and habitat encroachment, these cats were extirpated (locally extinct) from New Jersey until a special breeding program was initiated to repopulate this state.
Bobcats only eat about 3 lbs. of meat at a sitting so they tend toward small prey items such as rabbits, mice, squirrels, ground-nesting songbirds and turkeys. When they happen to catch a small or sick deer, it will last them several meals so they will hide it in a safe spot and return to it for several feedings. These cats are made to hunt, having excellent vision and hearing as well as soft pads on their feet to help them sneak up quietly on their prey.
Our two cats do not have to worry about hunting or being hunted. This male and female pair came to us in September 2002 from a zoo in Kansas. They eat twice per day, getting a commercial feline diet as well as an occassional rat, rabbit, or meat bone to keep their diet varied.
They are on the Association of Zoos and Aquariams SSP or Species Survival Plan. This national plan keeps a record of each animal's heredity to try to keep a healthy gene pool for each species.