Bobcat In Kentucky: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Bobcat In Kentucky
Bobcat In Kentucky: Everything You Need To Know

Lore and tall stories are full of narratives about bobcats. But stories of these elusive species are not relegated to history in Kentucky. This begs the question – are there bobcats in Kentucky?

Let us take a brief look at bobcats’ basics and where they live in Kentucky. Then we reply to the question. You will know all you desire to understand about bobcats in Kentucky.

Are There Bobcats In Kentucky?

Scarce in the 1970s, bobcats have made an exceptional comeback in Kentucky. Now they appear to be present in every county. The bobcat populations dropped or became extirpated by the twentieth century. This was mainly in the Midwest. Due to land clearing and persecution and agriculture by humans. 

Today, bobcats mainly live in habitats that are appropriate spots, like woodlands, chaparral hillsides, and deciduous forests. The population of bobcats is observed closely by officials of the Kentucky Department of Wildlife. Additionally, licensed trappers and hunters help watch population levels in the different counties of Kentucky. 

Where Do Bobcats Live In Kentucky & How Common Are They?

In Kentucky, bobcats can be found in hilly terrain and forested mountains all over the southeastern parts of the state. They tend to utilize different types of habitats within their range. Rugged wooded areas, rocky outcrops, swamps, hardwood forests, and brushy areas. 

They also look for less frequently human-visited areas in wooded areas. Their home sizes vary with the availability of prey and geography. Male bobcats have bigger home ranges when compared to female bobcats. Also, female bobcats do not overlap their home ranges, but male bobcats do overlap their home ranges with several other female bobcats.

Bobcat sightings are very rare as they are shy and mostly nocturnal animals. Your chances of spotting a bobcat are in the early evening or morning hours. Also, Bobcats are generally solitary animals. This can be exceptional to the generality in the breeding season or when with a young cub.

How Large Is A Kentucky Bobcat?

These medium-sized wild cats are characterized by their “bobbed” tails. Which can measure around 5 to 6 inches in size. They have reddish-brown fur and black spots and white underbellies on their legs and sides.

Typically, adult bobcats can weigh anywhere from 15 to 35 pounds. They can also reach up to 38 inches tall in length. These cats are known to have robust muscular bodies with large broad heads, powerful forelimbs, and tufted ears. Their typical stubby tail is entirely covered in hair, giving it the impression of a full tail. 

Are Bobcats Aggressive In Kentucky?

Bobcat In Kentucky
Bobcat In Kentucky: Everything You Need To Know

Generally speaking, no, Bobcats are shy animals that generally try to avoid human contact. However, when you encounter these cats, it is necessary to remember that they are wild species. They must be treated as such. Not doing so can make them aggressive and attack you. Never approach or try to capture them, as it can be dangerous or even deadly.

Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In US

What Do Bobcats Eat In Kentucky?

Bobcats prey upon rats, mice, voles, squirrels, rabbits, muskrats, beavers, opossums, birds, and deer. They also consume deer remains that have been left by hunters or hit by cars. The variety of prey in the diet depends on prey availability. 

Bobcats follow and make a surprise attack from the back of their prey. It might take a few minutes to move even a foot when stalking. In a blast of speed, a bobcat will spring on prey and hold it with pointed claws and canines. Sometimes the prey coughed for a later meal, is wrapped with grass, leaves, or pine needles.

Can You Kill A Bobcat In Kentucky?

The bobcat hunting season in Kentucky is from November to February. The hunting can be done one-half hour after sunset and before sunrise. The bag limit for hunting bobcats per person is 5.

No no more than 3 bobcats can be taken down using a gun. All bobcat hunters in Kentucky must compulsory carry a proper hunting license and permit (unless exempt) while hunting. Bobcat hunting permits are free within the state.

Can You Own A Bobcat In Kentucky?

Effective 2005, a private possession ban on bobcats has been enacted in Kentucky. The law also bans existing bobcats owners from breeding them. The existing facilities must be large enough with reasonable space for shelter, exercise, and maintenance. 

The holder must permit a conservation officer to check the facilities at any time. Also, proper paperwork, cage requirements owning, interviews, and other servals requirements must be met in most cases. 

What To Do If You See A Bobcat In Kentucky?

If you see a bobcat in the wild, maintain your distance and never approach it. If the animal comes near you, then make yourself appear big and create loud noises by clapping or yelling. 

You can also try scaring the animal by throwing sticks or rocks in its direction. However, you must never try to hit the bobcat. And, most significantly, the nerve runs away from the bobcat. Running may trigger its natural intuition to chase and can result in aggression. Remember, bobcats are wild animals and must be treated as one.

Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In Iowa


And that was everything you need to know about the bobcats in Kentucky. I hope this article was informative and your queries were answered.

Thank You For Reading!

Our Goto Source For This Guide

Scroll to Top