Is There a Bobcat in Your Backyard?

cat in the forest
A camera trap photo of a bobcat (Lynx rufus floridanus) from Babcock Ranch State Preserve, Florida. Photo © Carlton Ward Jr.

The quail first alerted me, as they often do.

I see California quail every time I walk or jog along the greenbelt near my Boise, Idaho home. When those flocks start calling excitedly and flushing, I know there’s something interesting afoot. When a predator is near, those quail are loud.

It might be a coyote or Cooper’s hawk, a weasel or red fox.

On this particular day, I stopped and gazed into the brush along the trail. My eye first picked up spots: a cat. I noticed that it was much larger than a house cat, and had distinctive tufts on its ears. A bobcat.

It was the first one I had seen in Boise, but I wasn’t surprised. Neighbors had spotted them regularly, even in backyards. Photographers had captured images of bobcats strolling down paths. Some area residents worried they might attack pets or children.

Without a doubt, bobcats had become more numerous in the Boise city limits in recent years. And my town isn’t alone. Bobcats are common sightings in Dallas and Denver, in Iowa cornfields and at New England bird feeders.

A few decades ago, a bobcat sighting in most parts of North America was a rarity. Today, if you live in the United States, there’s a decent chance there’s a bobcat roaming near you. What’s going on? And how to we best live alongside bobcats?

cat sniffing camera
A curious bobcat inspects the trail cam. Photo © Eric Aldrich

A Conservation Success

Bobcats are the most widespread wild cat in North America, found in 47 U.S. states and parts of Canada and Mexico. But as recently as 1970 they were treated by many wildlife agencies as a harmful predator species, to be killed on sight. In fact, bobcats lacked any legal protection in 40 U.S. states; they could be shot and trapped at any time of year, without limit.

With populations declining across their range, the lack of regulation slowly began to change, with most states either protecting bobcats or establishing strict hunting seasons and limits.

This is one of those instances where conservation proved uncomplicated: protect bobcats from unregulated hunting, and their populations will rebound. A 2010 survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that bobcat populations had tripled since the 1980s.

bobcat in woods
Trail cameras are a good way to spot shy bobcats. Photo © Eric Aldrich

As a kid, I learned that bobcats were a wilderness species. In reality, bobcats were only found in the wilderness because it was their last refuge from persecution. As bobcat populations soared, the cats moved into farmland, suburbs and even urban parks. Bobcats are predators, but they thrive on a diet of mice, rats, birds, squirrels, rabbits and other small quarry – all of which abound in suburban areas.

This has generated predictable alarm and even hysteria among those fearful about a new predator in the neighborhood. A widely circulating Associated Press story proclaimed bobcats were “poised as next urban pest.”

There’s no evidence to support this. Bobcats are shy and reclusive animals, and they remain that way even in urban areas.

Adapting to Life in the City

Some animals seemingly become quite bold when they move in close proximity to humans: take raccoons, normally shy forest animals that will happily raid garbage cans and even enter houses through cat doors.

That doesn’t appear to be the case with bobcats. They will live in cities, but they still keep their distance from people. A study conducted in Dallas found that bobcats, even in urban areas, avoided areas that were more than 20 percent developed. So, while they were found in city limits, they primarily lived in and moved among open areas like undeveloped woodlands, parks and golf courses.

One study found that urban bobcats became even more nocturnal, shifting their activity to hours when humans were least active. In the Santa Monica Mountains, the National Park Service found that highways limited bobcat movements, essentially isolating populations.

On the surface, bobcats really are not suited for life in the city. They thrive thanks to the network of green space that is found in urban areas. For lucky wildlife viewers, they offer a glimpse of wildness in our midst.

Bobcat tracks in the snow. Photo © Eric Aldrich

A Threat to Pets?

Whenever predators show up, people worry about these larger animals eating their pets. In the case of bobcats, this is not a realistic fear. Researchers looking at bobcat diets in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California failed to find any examples where bobcats ate domestic pets, despite the close proximity of the wild cats to many pet-owning households. Bobcats eat a lot of rodents; they do not want to tangle with something that can claw back.

As is so often the case, many people blame predators when their pet goes missing, even though their cat or dog was more likely hit by a car. There’s also a really simple way to avoid any potential predation: keep your pet indoors or under your supervision.

Bobcat attacks on humans are exceedingly rare, and almost always a result of the animal being rabid.

On the flip side, our backyards do pose a significant danger to bobcats. Bobcats in the Santa Monica Mountains experienced a population crash from 2001 to 2006 due to a form of mange. They contracted the mange due to suppressed immune systems, which was caused by ingesting rats and mice killed by poisons.

These rodent poisons can also impact birds of prey and other wildlife, so please find other forms of pest control.

Another bobcat captured on a trail cam. Photo © Eric Aldrich

Observing Your Local Bobcats

Many wildlife agencies and researchers ask people to report bobcat sightings, so they can gain a better understanding of urban predators. A lot of the information about Dallas’s bobcats, for instance, comes from information supplied by citizen scientists.

Of course, you first have to identify the bobcat. Fortunately, these animals are pretty distinctive. They are twice the size of a house cat and have noticeably longer legs. The tufts on their ear and short tail are also diagnostic.

They are often more commonly mistaken for mountain lions, which share their range. Again, the short tail will give you the correct ID; mountain lions are not only significantly larger but have much longer tails. (Check out my guide to mammal misidentification for more details).

big mountain lion in snow
A mountain lion in Chile. Photo © Robert McRae/TNC Photo Contest 2019

Lynx look very similar to bobcats, and a recent study found that even experienced wildlife biologists make identification errors between these two species when looking at trail camera photos. However, for the backyard naturalist, it’s pretty easy: lynx are a wilderness species. I have had acquaintances tell me they’ve seen lynx in Idaho, but biologists struggle to turn up any sign. (There hasn’t been one verified in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in a decade, despite lots of surveys). Heed my top rule of wildlife identification: If in doubt, it’s the least exciting option.

lynx in snow
A lynx in the show. These cats are often mistaken for bobcats. Photo © Megan Lorenz /TNC Photo Contest 2019

Trail cameras offer another way to get a glimpse of bobcats. My Nature Conservancy colleague Eric Aldrich has been photographing them with researcher Dallas Huggins in New Hampshire for years. Eric began by staking out carcasses with trail cameras, but eventually decided that learning wildlife habits was more satisfying.

While a few decades ago bobcats were an unusual sighting in New Hampshire, they’re now found in all the state’s counties. Eric’s Hancock Wildlife Cam offers stunning images of the cats, and has also shed new insights on their lives and habits. “It’s like earning a degree in the woods from professor Lynx rufus,” writes Aldrich.

Any backyard nature enthusiast should welcome the presence of bobcats. Unlike many animals that become urban neighbors, bobcats don’t require you to change your habits (other than not put out poison). The bobcat secretly goes about its ways, remaining as wild as it was in the deepest forest. If you’re watchful, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this elusive predator, living in our shadows.

bobcat in snow
A bobcat walking in the snow. Photo © Eric Aldrich

Join the Discussion

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  1. I hope Bob Cats find there place among humans and that humans accept this! They have a place on Earth just like we do, and if it is among us then so be it!

  2. Just saw an article this am about a bobcat in Washington DC!!
    Glad they are making a comeback – hope they’re left alone!!!

  3. I live on the edge of a small village (Strafford,Vt.) with a fair amount of woods beyond my house. In the last 3 years a power company has been upgrading their line and taking down trees along a 75 foot right of way. 3 Years ago my nearest neighbor saw a bobcat on the dirt road to his house (first he had ever seen in 58 years of living here). The next spring my husband saw the bobcat on a patch of lawn next to my garage. And last year my neighbor across the road saw the cat on a stone wall in her backyard. We attributed these sightings to disruption of his territory (the power company project was ongoing and very intrusive).
    I am very disappointed that I never saw the bobcat (maybe I don’t spend as much time outdoors). My friend at the opposite end of the village (heavily wooded and less populated) has been sighting cats on his trail cam for the last few years, too. And 40 years ago we would hear them scream when we were the only people living in a large forested area at the most remote part of town.

  4. Your article on the Bobcat was very informative and interesting. I learned from it. We have seen
    sightings of bobcats in our neighborhood in West Laurel, Maryland. It is good to know they don’t
    go after pets, children, or adults unless threatened. Thank you for writing the article on bobcats.

  5. Great piece. It gives me the perfect response to my neighbors who post ominously about bobcats in the area on the NextDoor platform. One of those threads gets going and I feel as if I’m in the Wild West, where every non-human thing must be subjugated. Thanks!

  6. Funny that I should see this as yesterday there were two good sized but gangly immatures that were together and watched me for several minutes. I was inside a home. Then later that evening another much smaller younger cat cross in front of me. I live near Coronado N ational Forest, Cochise County Arizona.

  7. The bobcat that was photographed along the C&O canal in DC could’ve come from West Virginia. The C&O canal goes from DC to there, so it probably followed it all of the way down. They can travel that far.

  8. I am just curious besides Hawaii what 2 states do not have a population of bobcats?

  9. Thank you for making the point that pets should be kept contained. Most dogs are generally kept under control these days but there are still far too many cat owners who allow their pets to free-roam, which is bad for the cats and bad for native wildlife. Cat fencing, cat enclosures, and leash training can be used to safely give cats outdoor time.


  10. I have always admired the bobcat. I have seen only one in my life and that was in the 70s in Wisconsin crossing a dark country road in front of me. So glad to see how they have come back! How much is known about interaction with coyotes? I imagine that is one reason for their shyness.

  11. They may not eat your pet cats or dogs however if you have poultry they can and will attack and eat your animals.

  12. I smiled throughout at seeing bobcats living free; the way nature intended.

  13. Wow, 47 states! Hoping to capture one on my trail cam in the Rogue/Siskiyou Nat’l Forest, where we’re lucky enough to be renting a cabin.

  14. Thank you for this article. I was guilty of many of these misconceptions. I do agree with you, we need to stop using poisons in our environments. It’s killing too many of our animals.

  15. I live in NE Los Angeles in a community called Eagle Rock. We have a resident bobcat fro many years and apparently it is mated as this winter is the first we spotted kits. We are 6 miles from downtown! We do back up to the Obama Fwy (134) and to a ridge going down to a populated canyon – Chevy Chase. We love seeing them, years ago my daughter came home and breathlessly told me she had seen a tiger. Neighborhood groups accuse me of photoshopping! Hahah, they are real folks and quite beautiful.

  16. I saw a bobcat cross my back patio at a fairly good pace, stubby tail straight up, at about 10am Saturday morning. It likely climbed/ jumped my 4’ chain link fence at the alley, trotted through my back parking area and through an open pedestrian gate to my pool patio. I knew it had 8’ wood fences in its path with only 1 low pedestrian gate at the front of my property so I ran to a window with a vantage point. Sure enough it hopped the 3’ gate, trotted across my front lawn and headed up my neighbor’s driveway across the street. Curiously I have seen rabbits and house cats on the same trail many times. I would bet this was not the bobcats first run through my yard as it took a path of least resistance as if familiar. I live next to an Atmos easement along Eastern Rd near Inwood and Forest Ln in north Dallas.

  17. I live in a suburb of Dallas and we see Bobcats in our neighborhood several times a week. They never try to approach us. They always run from us. We just have to not let our little dogs out by themselves.

  18. Thank you, Matthew, for your wisdom and bravery! We have taught this for years in the Dallas area, and people locally are learning, but the media still plays them up to be villains, and our single, experienced scientific (albeit, biased) voice can not possibly be louder than ignorance on the television.
    This article is beautifully written and factual. There are VERY few pets killed by bobcats. Dogs kill 250,000 pets a year. Add wildlife to that and the numbers are staggering. There is NO scientific proof that bobcats breed with domestic cats. Their breeding schedules are completely different. They have ONE litter a year, not one every four months, so being overrun by them or becoming pests is unlikely. Much like coyotes, the litters are smaller in lean years and larger in bountiful years.
    As urban animals, residents ought to welcome them with open arms. There has never in history been an unprovoked attack on a human by a healthy bobcat. They control populations of rabbits, rats, mice, snakes, roaches and MANY other pests. With the increase of rabbits in our cities, due to the increase in manicured lawns, bobcats have found an ample food source that needs to be controlled. They are a gentle, highly intelligent species that deserves our respect. Bobcats moved into our cities starting about 20 years ago when watershed planning changed drastically. Watersheds bring humans. Humans plant grass. Grass draws bunnies. Do the math. They are not being run out of their “natural homes”. We have created a trifecta of perfect living environments for them. Large decks make perfect dens. High privacy fences keep them safe. Pools, ponds, sprinklers and watersheds provide potable water. 95% of all urban bobcats live withing 5 miles of a watershed. WE HAVE INVITED THEM HERE. Yet, sadly, the old misguided fears exist.
    I have worked with wildlife for over 20 years, and run the largest bobcat rescue in the country. The most dangerous animal we work with, by far, are raccoons.
    In Texas, where we are located, they remain unprotected. It is heartbreaking. Hundreds of innocent bobcats are killed every year and no one says a word. It is a fight we cannot win alone. People need to speak up and demand that these precious animals be protected from base ignorance. Most professionals who deal with bobcats fear going against the grain. I applaud your courage for getting the truth out. Until a few years ago, it would’ve been career suicide to disagree with the “known” science. Today, we now know how much we don’t know.
    If you see a bobcat, thank your lucky stars that they have found your yard worthy of their presence. Enjoy them! They will move on. But while they are there, let them teach you, as THEY are the best teachers. “But now, ask the animals, for they will teach you” Job 12:7

    1. Wow! Thank you for sharing your important knowledge. very informative and helpful no doubt. Thank you for your dedication and hard work and last but not least your passion for this beautiful creature that we are lucky to have here on Earth with us. And every night when I say my prayers I always include in my prayers may peace and freedom from mean humans come to all animals.

  19. The panic over house pets becoming dinner for our remaining wildlife is totally unfounded. Leashed dogs and indoor cats are safe from healthy wildlife. Its as simple as that. Bobcats have recently been photographed in two towns, less than 10 miles from here – and as your article pointed out- they are not looking for our pets. Indeed, the wildlife needs protection from our trash, our poisons and inattentive drivers; not the other way around. My home is well within their hunting/roaming territory. My only concern is that I may never get to see them.

  20. We kept losing chickens although we were nearby. One day last year, I sat with them while I let them wander close to roosting time, and a bobcat came up right next to me, grabbed a chicken while giving me a good look in the eye! Now the chickens do not roam. Sadly for them. We have a long list of predators but, until that day, I hadn’t considered the bobcat.

  21. Once many years ago when I worked for the Forest Service in Vernal, Utah we were on our way back to the Ranger Station…when we saw not one but 7 bobcats…a mother and her six young “kitties”…of course
    no one believed us when we returned…but I saw them!

  22. I love reading your articles. Thank you so much!
    I was born approximately 25 miles north of Atlanta in 1974
    I remember when I was a kid we didn’t have central AC so at night we slept with our windows open and attic fan on , but we heard a bobcat being vocal on regular basis. actually seeing one a total of 3 or 4 times in my childhood while in the truck with my daddy.
    Today I live 4 or 5 miles from where I grew up and I haven’t heard anyone talk of Bobcats in my area or even heard a bobcat in at least a decade +
    Well about a year or two ago I told my daughter when she and I were outside one night enjoying the night air ” wow that was a bobcat I know that sound”
    After that night I heard one again a few times over the next several months.
    Suddenly in the last three to 4 months a nearby neighbor in adjoining subdivision from mine has got one on his trail camera in his backyard several times.
    Wow! Just never know about nature. I love how nature and wildlife can be unpredictable sometimes.

  23. I have one in my yard now .. and predictably active 2-4 in the afternoon. She is not elusive at all, but in good health. I feel so blessed and like she knows my yard is a safe haven. I also have a ton of squirrels and voles and mice and quails so no wonder and adjacent to a small uninhabited creek zone in a quieter town 15 miles from the Golden Gate bridge. Lots of open space around. It was my neighbors chickens that attracted her. She does not seem to be active or come around at night. (that’s when the skunk and raccoons are on their walkabout) I’ve been wondering where she goes at night. Sooooo pretty. very grey and black and white with a little brown on her hind legs. I can send a photo if you like. Thanks for this great post and your clear love for our sentients. I LOVE all the animals and cherish providing a haven for them to find sanctuary in.

  24. I’m hearing loud purr type sound and a loud hiss now and the from a tree behind our house. There is a big nest type thing in tree. We live at the base of a mountain.

    Do you think it could be a bobcat? This transpired after a huge fire in our area.


    1. Hi Melissa,
      Thanks for your question. It sounds like it could be a bobcat, although it’s difficult to know for sure. A number of creatures could make a sound that sounds like a purr and a hiss. I would search for wildlife recordings of bobcats, feral cats, red foxes and other likely candidates. You will likely be able to narrow it down and identify the animal, and, if nothing else, it’s entertaining to listen to wild animal sounds!

  25. Yes I saw three bobcats this month Long Swamp Road New Britain CT.

    1. They do appear to be lynx. Northern Minnesota has become a great place to see lynx in winter. I want to go! Thanks for sharing.

      Matt Miller
      Editor, Cool Green Science

  26. I have a bobcat living at my house I think he eats my koi fish and lives off the water from it , I’m scared he will attack me or my pet but he is shy .

  27. We have a new neighbor that must live around our house as we have seen him/her on our deck, our lower stone wall, along the drainage ditch going to the lake. This one is not big yet but alone – just a beautiful animal. There are thickets, pines and large junipers on the cliff, all around us. Our cat is very aware and now does not go out without me by his side. We’re in NW CT. This bobcat is out early in the morning and in the afternoon; not just in the evening. When the bobcat sees me or my husband she stares and then leaves. If through the window it saunters; if in person, it runs.

    1. Hi Joel,
      Actually, bobcats don’t have long tails. In fact, the name “bob” in the cat refers to their “bobtail.”


  28. We have what we believe is a melanistic bobcat in the field behind our property. We’ve seen it a few times but my son was in our skid steer and it walked past him and into the field… he said it looked three times the size of a house cat so large even for a bobcat and was ‘thick’ so maybe pregnant. He grabbed his cell phone and got a photo when it turned to stare at him from the field. We emailed the photo to DEC (we’re in fingerlakes region of NY) but haven’t had a response.

  29. As I was about to go outside to my patio last October, my cat began to growl like I had never heard from her before. I walked outside to see a large cat on my patio that was not afraid of me. I got very close to it before making a lot of noise and it finally ran. Recent events led me to call a biologist and I was told that this bobcat is most likely stalking my home because of my pets. He said to keep my pets in unless I was outside with them. Bobcats will attack and eat pets. This cat is not afraid of humans. We can hear him back in the woods just walking. I was told he would eventually move on if my pets were not outside unattended. My dog will bark at those woods continuously if the cats and I are outside but he will not go outside at night without me anymore. He is frightened. Do not think that these animals will not kill your pets. This bobcat has marked this area. I can smell cat urine when the blows. It is like no other smell. Be warned.

  30. my name is john koller i live in espyville pa sitting on my patio i observed a bobcat thursday afternoon about 6;30pm. it smelled one of my kittens and didnt harm it the bobcat wondered back in the woods. then on friday morning about 11;30 as i was mowing my yard i saw my little kitten laying back in the woods dead i buried it later.

  31. Recent reports of bobcats and mountain lion in our neighborhood have increased awareness for mid cats but I didn’t expect to be awakened by what I presumed to be a bobcat so close to our West Boise home. Thank you development.

  32. This explains the recent sightings of bobcats in my area. Thank you for writing such an informative article that not only answers my many questions, but also points out the ease in which bobcat may assimilate into a suburban area. They are assisting with rodent control.

  33. Just moved to a dead end home in Topanga Canyon, outside of LA.
    A few days ago a female bobcat wandered by one of my sliding glass doors, stared at me and one of my indoor cats, and walked down the hill.
    Today, a male bobcat walked on by. I heard barking and other noise, and bobcat walked past going up my steps. 9 am.
    Beautiful yet terrifying, as I walk my daughter’s dog at night if watching him.
    And here we were worried about coyotes!

  34. I saw a Bobcat in my driveway a few days ago. I live upstate NY near Bear Mountain. I recently noticed some scat that I thought might belong to a large dog but now I know it’s from this Bobcat. The scat has lots of animal fur in it. I watched as the Bobcat went around spraying the area which my dogs found very interesting when I walked them (on a leash) later that day. I am thrilled to live side by side with wildlife and I found your article helpful. I will be careful to make sure that no one in the area puts down poison for rodents.

  35. We have a Bobcat who is coming in our backyard from the open space behind our house. We are seeing evidence of digging our grass up. We have not witnessed since we sighted a Bobcat in our backyard. We think he is in our backyard during night time hours.

    We have a Golden Retriever. How can we get rid of these Bobcats? We live in Centennial, CO, a south suburb in Denver.

  36. Everyone saying pets aren’t under threat. In Florida, we’ve had multiple farm cats attacked. One without a leg now and others killed, one just put down from injuries from a bobcat. St. Johns County, FL. Overdevelopment is driving them further into our backyards. Trapped four in a week, one was over 40#

  37. I came across your highly informative piece after hearing our bird feeder hit the ground after dark tonight here by a southern Wisconsin lake. It was the second such attack in a week and would have required a wily skill set beyond the usual suspect chip monk, and we’ve seen no spring hungry bear. But we have seen a bobcat about!

  38. I have a Bobcats family living in my backyard right now. Mom and three kittens. They are very entertaining and are growing fast. We are guessing they are 2 to 2 1/2 weeks old. They are still nursing. I just had a situation that another bobcat came into the yard. I thought that was a no no. The two adult bobcats did not square off and didn’t Threaten the kittens. The kittens are now playing in the garden and the two adults left the yard together. Is this somewhat normal?

  39. my cats and I hissed at an ugly cat that was sitting on the air conditioner peering in our window , about a month ago. then about two weeks ago it was hanging out in a spot my cats like , that is attached to the roof. I actually thought it was my cat, but as first the little cat , then the dog marched through the door, i noticed my larger cat come strolling by. It was the wild thing. It was not afraid of me at all and just lounged there as I walked by. my German Shepherd ignored it completely. This is a dog that flips and barks at all dogs and squirrels, and yet it ignored the predator in our midst??? Last week my cat Gilly decided she wanted to stay out and I usually get her to come in but she has had ear mites and I had been putting drops in her ears so she was not happy with me. I fell asleep but was woken when the dog was barking . I got dressed and knew the way she was sweeping the ground something had been there. my cat was gone! I knew that . I thought a fox or coyote , but this was a cat that would attack dogs if they went after her. Now Im pretty sure the ugly cat was a bobcat. And two nights later my cat had tried to return home. I heard a cat scream so the dog and i went out and looked all over the paddock. but she was barking at the tree. We went in and about two hours later , a cat scream and we went back out . It had escaped over the fence with my Gilly. never to be seen again. Now Im afraid when i go out at night, im on 10 acres all fenced but it has upset me. This thing is not afraid of me or my dog.

  40. We’re in Scottsdale we have two cubs and a mother that birthed in our backyard. They are currently sleeping on our back lawn. It’s an incredible sight. They’ve been here for just over a week.

  41. I’m in OK. Shawnee Ok. To be exact. In my back yard i seen a Bob Cat… Came from the tall grasses right into my back yard.. I live on a busy St. and I was so amazed to see this beautiful large cat just walk out of the tall geasses and into my yard. It stopped and looked at me then turned and walked into the woods right behind my house..( I was inside my home. ) This cat was so beautiful just to look at. I know we have wild turkeys and deer, but this was magnificent. If it comes back what do I do? I don’t want it killed.

  42. I have a bobcat in my backyard which I have named Dolly. Dolly had three kittens until a coyote got into the yard. She then moved them with no forwarding address. I don’t know if the coyotes got one of the kittens as I only saw two before she moved them. Dolly is in my yard numerous times a day and is very vocal. For example last night she woke me up four times . Nobody seems to understand what she is vocalizing about. I’m sure the kittens are almost weaned now so I think she might be hunting more. Of course I don’t know if she still has the kittens and if she is being vocal because she is trying to breed again. I have plenty of video. Would love to know what’s going on.
    She comes into my garden and lays around in the same spot every day.


  43. Up here in Calgary Alberta Canada, bobcats are making their presence known. They have moved into the suburbs and have been seen taking small pets from yards and porches during daylight hours. I am trying to find more info about them, as some people are quite scared and I feel their boldness is a tad unusual. theories abound as to what attracts them and why they have moved in, but they definitely like neighbourhood rabbits and pets…

  44. I just had two youngsters in my yard at the front of the house, one came up onto the deck & had a look through the door glass while I photographed it. They were young, this years litter I’m sure. I back onto what is undeveloped land. Dry scrubland dominated by oak & poison oak.Most of my 9+ acres is pretty wild & there are many critters, mice, gophers, squirrels, etc. plus many birds as one might expect. I’d like to have one of the bobcats make a home here & do its bit for the rodent population. Any suggestions as to what I might do to improve the habitat? Keep them/it happy?