Bobcat In New York: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Bobcat In New York

With their unique dense fur that turns red in summer and gray in winter, these felines hide pretty well in any habitat. But most of the time they are misidentified as pet cats. Yes, I am talking about the fierce little Bobcats. 

Also known as red lynx, bobcats are wildcats that are predominantly found across the North American continent. They are found in Wisconsin, Maine, and Maryland but what about New York? Are these cat-like carnivores found in the state of New York?

Below I’ve explained everything you need to know about Bobcats’ presence in the state of New York.

Are There Bobcats In New York?

Definitely, there are bobcats in New York State, and they are primarily found in rural and forested areas of the state. These nocturnal animals once occupied almost all of the counties of the state at one point. But now due to extensive hunting, habitat loss, and scarcity of prey, their range has been reduced to a few regions of the state.

Sadly, these factors are still a threat to the Bobcats in New York today. While the state authorities are closely monitoring and managing the Bobcat population today, it is also our responsibility to be aware of the situation and support government initiatives.

Where Do Bobcats Live In New York & How Common are They?

Bobcats predominantly live in habitats that offer a good hiding spot from prey and predators alike. In New York State, these wildcats are often spotted in densely forested areas, swamps, and also mountainous areas like the Adirondacks and Catskills. They are also often sighted in the Taconic Mountains and Shawangunk Ridge which boasts unique geological formations. 

As per the latest Bobcat population surveys, there are about 5000 bobcats in these regions but there’s no population estimate available for bobcats in the western and central regions. 

It’s particularly important to know that Bobcats by nature are solitary and tend to avoid any encounters with humans which makes it almost impossible to spot them in cities. Therefore, though their population in the state may be stable, it is still difficult to spot them in the wild unless you have a very keen eye.

How Large Is a New York Bobcat?

Bobcats in New York have a similar size to bobcats found in other states. There may be some variations due to regional differences but nothing so prominent. These wildcats may weigh even 40 pounds but on average the male weighs 21 pounds and the female weighs 14 pounds.

When standing, they have a shoulder height of about 2 to 3 feet from the ground. Their tail which is uniquely black-tipped is about 5 to 6 inches tall, bringing their overall body length to on average 32 inches. In addition to this, remember that a bobcat is about 2 times the size of a pet cat and much smaller than its cousin Canada Lynx.

Are Bobcats Aggressive In New York?

Bobcat In New York

It is very rare for anyone to be attacked by a Bobcat. They are very shy and prefer to live their lives in the wilderness away from human eyes. In fact, when spotted, they quickly blast off to their den or other hiding spots. 

But having said all this, Bobcats like other wild animals are definitely capable of being aggressive. They get defensive when cornered or when threatened. 

Other situations may also involve food or a young bobcat. Therefore, always be cautious around bobcat-inhabited areas and follow precautionary measures. 

These include making loud sounds to announce your presence in case the wildcat hasn’t spotted you yet, not going too near them and observing from a distance, and at any time never feed a bobcat.

Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In US

What Do Bobcats Eat In New York?

There is no such difference between the diet of Bobcats in New York and in other states of the country. Predominantly, bobcats consume small mammals like rodents, rabbits, mice, and birds completely in one go. 

They also eat injured, dead, or young deer and other bigger mammals. But in this case, the kill is preserved for future consumption. This is a rare behavior of the Bobcats that’s not observed in other wild cats.

Can You Kill a Bobcat In New York?

Yes, you can kill a Bobcat in New York with a valid permit. In some regions of the state, there are hunting and trapping seasons for these furbearers. 

Managed and controlled by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, hunting and killing permits are established to have sustainable control of these wild creatures. 

You can also kill them when a human’s life or his/her property is under attack. In this case, the person may kill the Bobcat to ensure personal safety and property safety.

Can You Own a Bobcat In New York?

So, you want to own a Bobcat in New York State? You can however, a valid permit or license is required. 

As Bobcat is native to the state of New York it is well managed to protect both the creature and the local people. These licenses or permits are established and regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 

The agency only provides these in specific cases like for educational, research, and rehabilitation purposes. Therefore, these cats cannot be owned as a pet in the state of New York. 

Add to this, it is also very unsafe for both you and the Bobcat to live under the same roof.

What To Do If You See a Bobcat In New York?

It is quite rare to spot a Bobcat in the wild and much rarer in cities and suburbs. But on the rare instance that you do encounter these resilient creatures, be cautious and follow the local precautions.

These include maintaining a safe distance and alerting the bobcat of your presence through loud noises. Not having eye contact and strictly avoiding feeding these wildcats as they may get used to it and often visit you.

And if by your bad luck you find an aggressive one, report it immediately to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation where adequate action will be taken up to ensure both the resident’s and Bobcat’s safety.

Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In Virginia


And that was everything you need to know about the Bobcats in New York. I hope this article was infromative and your queries were answered.

Thank You For Reading!

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