Bobcat In North Carolina: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Amin Tawar

Bobcat In North Carolina
Bobcat In North Carolina: Everything You Need To Know

From Red foxes to black bears, the rich landscapes of North Carolina support a unique set of lifeforms including wildcats. While the state doesn’t have a native population of big cats like lions, tigers, and jaguars, there are a few populations of wild cats like cougars and Bobcats.

Yes, the state has a thriving population of Bobcats. Although these wildcats don’t pose a threat to humans, it is important to know about their role in the ecosystem to both appreciate and support them.

Below I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the Bobcats in North Carolina.

Are There Bobcats In North Carolina?

Yes, there are bobcats in North Carolina. These wildcats are known for their distinctive appearance, especially the tail. Native to the state, bobcats are found throughout diverse landscapes like forests, swamps, and even the suburbs. 

Historically, bobcats were found throughout the United States. However, in the late 1800s, due to extensive hunting, these predators were extirpated from the country including states like North Carolina. 

It was only in the last 50 years that the bobcat population has rebounded. This was made possible due to various rehabilitation efforts, and implementation of hunting and trapping regulations among many.

Where do bobcats live in North Carolina?

While bobcats are found throughout the state, these solitary creatures often prefer to live in bottomland hardwoods and young pine stands. Additionally, due to their adaptive trait, Bobcats are also spotted in plains, mountains, and swamps. 

As the north and east regions of the state are filled with mountains and landscapes that are very suitable for bobcats.

It is important to know that the bobcat population varies from time to time and from place to place with the prey population and hiding place being the top priority. These nocturnal animals often avoid human interactions due to their solitary nature.

Talking about the counties, almost all the counties in North Carolina have a good bobcat population.

How common are bobcats in North Carolina?

Bobcat In North Carolina
Bobcat In North Carolina: Everything You Need To Know

Bobcats are quite common in North Carolina. In fact, bobcats are the most abundant and widely found wildcat in the state. The diverse wildlife offers suitable habitats for bobcats.

As per a study published in the Journal of Fish & Wildlife Management, there are about 126,000 bobcats in the state. And the population has only been rising, since 2010. 

Additionally, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission which is responsible for bobcat population management and tracking considers them to have a healthy and stable population in the state.

Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In US

How Large Is a North Carolina Bobcat?

Bobcats in North Carolina like their counterparts in other states are typically about 2 times that of domestic cats. The average height of a fully grown male bobcat is between 2 to 4 feet with proportionate legs and measure about 3 to 4 feet in total length from nose to tail.

In terms of weight, these resilient creatures weigh between 15 to 30 pounds with females weighing a little less. Though these felines have similar bodies to domestic cats, bobcats also have a muscular build and more robust features to suit their lifestyle. 

However, it is important to note that similar to other wild animals, bobcats’ size also varies with time, habitat type, prey availability, etc.

Are Bobcats Aggressive In North Carolina?

Bobcats in general are not aggressive. Instead, they are known to either flee or hide when in contact with humans.

However, like all other wild animals, Bobcats may get aggressive when threatened or cornered. In this case, bobcats will hiss, growl, or show other defensive postures to intimidate and warn. 

Such scenarios may occur when there is food or a young bobcat in the picture. If you reside in an area with a bobcat presence, be cautious and follow common-sense precautions to keep them away from human habitats. 

Additionally, if you do observe an aggressive and unstable bobcat, immediately report it to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission or local animal control for assistance.

Can You Kill a Bobcat In North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the Bobcat population and their hunting and killing are managed by North Carolina Wildlife Resources Management Agency. 

The agency has introduced hunting and trapping season for bobcats. During this time hunters and trappers can hunt bobcats with relevant permits and licenses. 

As per the regulations set by NCWRM, licenses need to be availed based on bag limits, specific methods of hunting & trapping, etc. Therefore, it’s important to abide by the rules set in order to hunt or kill a bobcat in North Carolina.

Although you can kill bobcats as an act of self-defense if it is a danger to your life, it is still recommended to call the authorities for capture.

Can You Own a Bobcat In North Carolina?

Yes, You can own a bobcat in North Carolina. As per the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Management, it is legal to own or possess wildcats with valid permits. Compared to licenses for other wild animals, it is easier to obtain for bobcats in North Carolina. 

Additionally, as ownership rules & regulations change over time, it is always important to check the latest regulations before buying or selling wild animals including bobcats.

Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In New Jersey

What To Do If You See a Bobcat In North Carolina?

Bobcats are rarely known to attack humans. The only exceptions to this may take place if there is food or a young bobcat in the picture.

Therefore, in order to avoid their presence near residential buildings always secure and store food sources. Avoid keeping the pets outdoors overnight and keep them indoors. And if you happen to sight one in the wild, make noises and alert your presence, and give space for the bobcat to move and flee which it’ll often do. 

In case the bobcat exhibits aggressive behavior immediately report to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources management agency to support.


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

Thank You For Reading!

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