Bobcat In Ohio: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Bobcat In Ohio

Ohio, a midwest state in the U.S., has many different habitats such as prairies, forests, Great Lakes, and wetlands. This shows how diverse are the landscapes, and how qualified it is to help different animals. 

White-tailed deer, mourning doves, snapping turtles, American bullfrogs, and coyotes are a few of them. But are there bobcats in the state? 

Below I’ve explained everything you need to know about these fascinating wild cats present in Ohio and their return to the state.

Are There Bobcats In Ohio?

The quick answer is, yes, there are bobcats in Ohio. Nevertheless, they have not forever been. Most of the state was home to these secretive animals, but during the late 1850s, they had all vanished. 

Now, they are making a return in the state. It sensed like there had not been a single bobcat to estimate in the state for almost a century, at the same time as other wildlife animals such as wild turkeys. 

But investigators confirmed that the state presently has a resident bobcat population. It was reported by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) that about 499 bobcat sightings were documented in the state. 

Many investigations of the 1900s argue that bobcats were formerly hunted and trapped to expiration, but sightings have only grown dramatically in the past few decades. Also, the division has stated that they have never seen an increase like this past few years.

Why did Bobcats leave Ohio?

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), bobcats are native species to the state. They were ample all over the state prior to it being settled.

However, the population of bobcats dropped during the 1800s when trees were cut down and wetlands and marshes were emptied to create space for farmland and human settlements. 

By the end of 1850, bobcats had been totally eliminated from the state because of fur hunting and habitat loss. Then there were only periodic records of sightings of bobcats from 1850 to the 1960s, and most of them were in eastern Ohio. 

Decades later, habitats appropriate for bobcats appeared in the state as earlier farmed lands were transformed into forest areas, and deserted mines became rehabilitated.

Verified spottings of bobcats have only increased in the past few years and as a result, bobcats were taken an endangered and vulnerable species list of Ohio in July 2014.

Are Bobcats Aggressive In Ohio?

Bobcat In Ohio

Though there has been an increase in the population of bobcats in Ohio, which makes them very common to be spotted in the state, however, they are not dangerous. Bobcats are usually lonely and shy animals by nature who very rarely begin contact with humans, and thus human attacks are unlikely. 

However, bobcats can become dangerous when startled or when their cubs are in danger. Also as they are not directly visible when present, unexpected contact is possible.

Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In US

Can You Kill A Bobcat In Ohio?

Though bobcats were taken out from the list of threatened or endangered species by the Wildlife Council in the year 2014, they are still protected in the state of Ohio and cannot be trapped or killed. 

Also, the Ohio Wildlife Council has stated that the hunting or trapping of these wild cats will not open anytime soon in the near future. 

Can You Own A Bobcat In Ohio?

Bobcats can be owned only with a permit and these permits are issued for zoological, educational, and scientific purposes. Also, a permit is required before bobcats are imported into the state.  

In 2012 a law was passed to ban the private guardianship of any dangerous animal, including exotic cats. Anyone owing these animals must register them and cannot breed or buy more. 

The breeding exemptions are only for accredited zoos and sanctuaries that continue to rescue them from the wild.

What To Do If You See A Bobcat In Ohio?

When you encounter a bobcat, you must default back away gradually and slowly from the animal. The more space between the cat and you, the less dangerous you are. Never run away from the cat as it can trigger the bobcat’s hunting intuitions. 

However, you can try scaring it away by splashing or spraying water on it. You can also try making loud noises using your camping pans and pots. 

These are precautions that you can follow when in the wild but when you spot one in your neighborhood then you must immediately call animal control by staying indoors until the area is clear. 

Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In Florida


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

Thank you For Reading!

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