What are Bobcat Sounds at Night?

What is a Bobcat, and How does it Look? Where do they live? Are there any Crying Bobcats in the City? What are the Different Types of Sounds made by Bobcats? Why do Bobcats Scream at Night?

Animals, Facts, Nature

Cats are unique creatures, and they are found in distinct sizes all around the world. You are aware of the big cats found in the wild, but do you know there are numerous species of small cats that are known as wild cats, and they inhabit the wild? According to the Cat Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are about 41 species of cats in this world of which there are 30 recognized species of small wild cats. Bobcat is one of the wildcats. Have you heard bobcat sounds at night? Do you know the reason why do bobcats scream at night? Does bobcat sounds like baby crying? Let’s begin and find it out.

1. What is Bobcat?

Scientifically known as Lynx Rufus, a bobcat is a medium-sized cat found in North America. This specie of cat is one of the most populated and widely distributed and is also known as the Red Lynx. Bobcats have two subspecies, one is found in the east of the Great Plains and the other is towards the west of the Great Plains. Researchers believe that bobcats evolved from the Eurasian Lynx. (See Why is my Cat Stretching so much?)

2. What does a Bobcat Look like?

Basically, among all the species of cats, the resemblances of the bobcat are compared with the resemblances of the mid-sized genus Lynx. But in comparison to all the 4 species of lynx, bobcats are the smallest. Some of their distinctive features are as follows:

  • They have a tan to gray-brown coat, streaks on the body in brown and dark bars or stripes on the limbs.
  • Desert bobcats have the lightest colored coats whereas bobcats living in forests have the darkest coats.
  • Ears are pointed and black at the tips with black short tuffs.
  • Chins, underparts, and lips are white.
  • Bobcats can be melanistic (black) but still have patterns.

3. Where do they live?

Were you looking for the reasons behind bobcat sounds at night? Deep forests and rugged terrain are regions that they prefer for hunting and hiding. There are places with caves that make perfect dens where they can hide safely. They mark their territory-wide and vast that is guarded by them. Though bobcats are very territorial, there are instances when male territories sometimes overlap with other male bobcats. But female bobcats are not very social and do not share their space with other female bobcats. (See Where do Animals Live?)

4. Are Bobcats found Crying in Cities?

Photo by Julie Lamour on Unsplash

These felines are far-ranging and solitary-loving mammals. They love regions that are remote with rocky outcrops. Heavily wooded areas are also preferred by them, but they have been spotted on urban edges too. There have been rare cases of interactions between the bobcat and humans. The biggest threat to these wild cats is humans, and they prefer hiding from us. (See What are Behavioral Adaptation of Animals?)

5. What are Different Types of Sounds Produced by Bobcats?

Humans have different pitches of sound for expressing different emotions. Similarly, cats and other animals have different types of sounds that they emit in different situations. Here is a list of sounds that bobcats make with the possible meaning of those sounds. This list will explain the reason behind bobcat sounds at night.

Sounds Meanings
Bark This is a type of aggressive sound that bobcats make.
Growl They growl when they are angry or just go along with the mood.
Hiss They hiss when they are upset, scared, or on alert. It is mostly to ward off enemies.
Howl They howl mostly during mating season, or in danger.
Meowing It is the sound they make when they are communicating softly or want something.
Purr Every cat purrs when they feel safe and secure. Purrs can be high or low range.
Scream They usually scream when they are annoyed, hungry, angry, etc.
Snarl Mother bobcats snarl at their kittens when she is annoyed.
Squall Kitten and adult bobcats both squeal like babies while playing or calling each other.

6. Can there be a Bobcat in City?

It is highly unlike for bobcats to enter cities because they are shy creatures. They are known for their stealth and talent for hiding. But if you live in mountainous areas where they are inhabited, it is possible for you to listen to their sounds at night. They may even visit your yard at night and make that scary fighting sound. It may be because he thinks that your house cat has invaded their territory. (See Why do Cats not like Water near Their Food?)

7. Do Bobcats Sound at Night like House Cats?

Yes, due to the same pitch of the sound of a bobcat and a house cat, their voices sound identical. You can easily mix up and get confused with the voices and bobcat sounds at night. The meow of the bobcat will sound like that of the tomcat sitting on your roof every night. (See What Is the Real Sound That a Fox Make?)

8. Do Bobcat Sounds like Baby Crying?

Photo by Kjell-Jostein Sivertsen on Unsplash

Well, people in different regions described sounds made by bobcats as the scream of a woman as if asking for help, a man shouting, the sounds of a demon, and the crying of a child. Yes, it does sound like a crying baby. It sounds like a baby calling for its mother continuously. (See What Sound does a Camel make?)

9. What are Bobcat Sounds at Night?

The bobcat sounds at night can be snarls, cries, screams, caterwauls, yowls, and hisses. Since they are nocturnal animals, it is normal to hear their voices at night. It can be frightening for someone who is not used to it, but they are more or less the same bobcat sounds at night as that of the tom cat or any house cat. Both male and female bobcats emit such sounds. Check out  What Sound does a Hippo make?

10. Why do Bobcats Scream at Night?

Eventually, bobcats are silent creatures and prefer hiding from humans. Thus, they hunt at night to avoid every possible encounter with humans. This is the reason they are mostly heard at night. Well, you can find the similarities in the sounds produced by bobcats and your house cats, like snarls, cries, screams, caterwauls, yowls, and hisses. Must See Do Cats Really Have Nine Lives?

The reasons behind their screams can be various, while some common reasons are: 

  • Mating call
  • Mother calling her kittens
  • Showing aggression
  • Kittens calling their mother
  • Sick or in pain
  • Fighting with other cats

11. Do Bobcats make Sound while Hunting?

No, every predator approaches their prey in utter silence and camouflaged in the surroundings. The same is the habit of bobcats too. They are extremely silent while they hunt and even on the darkest nights, they can catch their prey without any sound. But if they are being hunted, or they sense danger, they will call for help by growling, hissing, howling, or screaming. Mostly these sounds are scarier enough to deter the animal or human from attacking the bobcat. (See Why do Cats always land on their feet?)

12. How Far can You hear a Bobcat?

In the silence of the night, the bobcat sounds at night can travel a bit far. The soft sounds produced by the bobcat are hardly audible and almost inaudible from a mile away. Their screams are also low-pitched and can be heard usually in the close regions as a warning or helping sound for nearby bobcats. But the loudest scream of a bobcat can be heard from 100 yards (91.44 meters) away. (See Why do people like cats so much?)

13. Does Bobcat make Chirping Sounds?

Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

You may be confused by the question if you have not seen a cat talking to birds. Yes, bobcats do make chirping sounds, but they are not as identical to the chirping of birds. Just like a house cat they also make these chirping sounds from their throat and hardly open their mouth. It is usually a communication sound but can convert into a low-growl or a high-pitched hiss, depending on the situation.

So, today you learned about the reasons behind bobcat sounds at night. Why do bobcats scream at night? The answer to this question is similar to the reasons for the crying of the house cat. Have you personally heard that a bobcat sounds like baby crying? Would you like to share your experience with us? (See Why Are Cats Tongue So Rough?)

About the author
Alex Williams is a PhD student in urban studies and planning. He is broadly interested in the historical geographies of capital, the geopolitical economy of urbanization, environmental and imperial history, critical urban theory, and spatial dialectics.

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