Home Animals How High Can Bobcats Jump? (Explained)

How High Can Bobcats Jump? (Explained)

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Bobcats are some of the most impressive animal hunters in nature. With a medium-sized build, bobcats can often move silently and quickly through the underbrush looking for unsuspecting prey. To help with their hunting prowess, bobcats have great jumping abilities, easily able to clear up to 6-foot fences.

What Is The Highest A Bobcat Can Jump?

Bobcats are remarkable animals in their agility and strength. Not only can they jump up to an impressive 10-12 feet high in the air, but they can also travel a much larger horizontal distance, often reaching nearly 20 feet through a single leap! 

bobcat in georgia

Why Do Bobcats Jump High?

Bobcats have a unique and impressive ability to soar through the air to a remarkable height. Though they may not be much bigger than most house cats, when looking for food or trying to escape their own predators, bobcats are capable of jumping over 6 feet in the air! 

Not only do these quick felines need to watch out for their usual predators, such as wolves and mountain lions, but young bobcats must also take extra caution from additional enemies like owls, eagles, foxes, and coyotes.

They often jump and climb over high fences and short buildings in order to search for their prey, which usually ranges from chickens, mice and wild birds to rabbits, and even sometimes feral cats. Beyond scavenging through unprotected garbage cans and food bags, bobcats also find their meal by following the smell of their prey. 

In other words, if there is an unfortunate chance a bobcat sneaks into your yard then more likely than not they managed to follow the scent of something worth eating right into your property.

How High Can Bobcats Jump

Bobcat Jumping Technique

Bobcats are incredibly agile creatures and they have some interesting adaptations that allow them to easily move around their natural environment. One of the most impressive abilities of bobcats is jumping: they use their back legs as a spring to push off and easily land on a higher surface. 

Even more interestingly, when bobcats need to jump across something or climb a post, they actually get a running head start! This means if there are any fences around, some bobcats may be able to clear it in one swift jump while others opt for something more secure – look for fences that they can grip with their paws.

Do Bobcats Climb?

Bobcats are excellent climbers and much better than jumpers. They use this ability to gain access to food that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. They can hop fences, scale buildings, and climb up into trees with ease. Not only is climbing a means for catching their prey, but it also provides them with a form of escape when anything larger than themselves seems threatening.

 For example, if pursued by a domestic dog, bobcats prefer to flee the scene by scaling up a tree. They even make sleeping in the treetops their habitat of choice on occasion; while they mostly seek out cosy dens in which to rest and conserve energy, sleeping in trees is still an available option when necessary.

Bobcat Strength

Bobcats are much smaller than other large cats, but they are still formidable hunters. A typical male bobcat can range in weight from 18-35 pounds and measure 32-37 inches in length. Females, on the other hand, weigh about 15 to 30 pounds and measure 28-32 inches. 

That size is actually comparable to that of a domestic house cat, yet bobcats have incredibly strong bite force, up to 827 PSI! What’s more, these cats aren’t even just opportunistic hunters; bobcats have been known to take down white-tailed deer and usually prefer the young fawns over adult adults. 

Though not as swift as large carnivores like cheetahs and lions, their agility makes them nimble predators; bobcats can run up to speeds of 30 mph for short durations and will easily outrun their prey.

bobcat on tree 1

Bobcat Jumping Comparisons vs. Other Animals

Bobcats are excellent jumpers, but how do they match up against other large cats and cat-like animals?

Lynx

Although bobcats and lynxes may look similar, they are surprisingly different. While bobcats have less fur than the elusive lynx, they cannot withstand the cold as well. Lynxes have specially designed paws with fur on the bottoms to help them navigate the snowy terrain. 

But their most impressive feat is their quickness; able to jump up to 6.5 feet in the air and reach speeds of 50 mph in short bursts, making them one of nature’s best winter hunters.

Mountain Lion

Mountain lions are elusive creatures native to the Americas and truly impressive. While bobcats may not measure up to their power and speed, mountain lions can reach incredible speeds of up to 50 mph and are capable of leaping 15 feet from the ground straight onto a tree. 

Not only that but very few fences or walls can protect against them; they can climb clear up to 12 feet in a single bound! Their strength and speed make them formidable hunters; they can continuously outrun their prey at 10 mph without slowing down. 

Coyote

Coyotes are relentless hunters and it’s not just limited to chickens and other small prey animals. They have impressive strength and agility, allowing them to scale insurmountable fences of up to 14 feet in height, a rather scary feat for small household pets like cats and dogs. Similarly, coyotes can also jump 6 feet into the air, a similar trait that bobcats also possess. 

Interestingly enough, research suggests that these two wild animals coexist nonetheless despite the fact that bobcats are one of the primary food sources for coyotes. This is because coyotes typically shy away from challenging larger adult-size bobcats, going after the younger more vulnerable ones instead.

Tiger

Tigers and bobcats may not live in the same environment, but bobcats could still be wary of them due to their impressive athleticism. Tigers are known for their extreme speed, agility, and leaping ability. They can launch themselves 16 feet into the air and travel up to 25 feet in one bound. On land, tigers can reach speeds of 35 to 40 mph for a few seconds at a time.

Lion

Lions are amazing animals, truly deserving of their title as king of the beasts. With powerful muscles and agility, lions can run up to speeds of 50 mph in short bursts; however, they eventually tire out. Additionally, lions can jump incredibly high for animals of their size. 

They can reach heights of up to 36 feet vertically and 12 feet horizontally! But even then lion cubs are not nearly as capable – relying instead on their mothers for help. Interestingly enough, bobcats who inhabit the same continent cannot compete in terms of speed or jumping – being neither as fast nor agile as a lion. 

Final words

Bobcats are an amazing species, with a number of impressive qualities that make them well-suited for their environment. They are incredibly agile animals, and despite being smaller than housecats, bobcats can easily survive in the wild. Not only can they run, but also they can jump incredible distances; some have been recorded leaping as far as 10-20 feet through the air!

Reference:

https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/indiana/stories-in-indiana/indiana-bobcats/#:~:text=Bobcats%20are%20quiet%20hunters%20who,ten%20feet%20in%20the%20air.

https://www.thecolonytx.gov/158/How-to-Discourage-Bobcats-from-Your-Yard#:~:text=Use%20noise%20and%2For%20motion,to%20remove%20secluded%20hiding%20spots.

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Rahul M Suresh

Visiting the Zoo can be an exciting and educational experience for all involved. As a guide, I have the privilege of helping students and visitors alike to appreciate these animals in their natural habitat as well as introducing them to the various aspects of zoo life. I provide detailed information about the individual animals and their habitats, giving visitors an opportunity to understand each one more fully and appreciate them in a more intimate way.

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Visiting the Zoo can be an exciting and educational experience for all involved. As a guide, I have the privilege of helping students and visitors alike to appreciate these animals in their natural habitat as well as introducing them to the various aspects of zoo life. I provide detailed information about the individual animals and their habitats, giving visitors an opportunity to understand each one more fully and appreciate them in a more intimate way.

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