The Six Wildcats of North America

Updated on December 13, 2018
sgbrown profile image

I am a blogger from Southern Oklahoma who loves to write about nature and animals.

North America is home to six species of wildcats—bobcats, lynx, ocelots, cougars, jaguars, and jaguarundis—all of which are considered native to North America.

With more and more of their natural habitat disappearing, wildcats—as well as many other types of wildlife—are coming in closer contact with man. In this article, you will learn all about the wildcats of North America, from specs like size and weight to fun facts about what makes these cats unique.

Note: The following sizes and weights refer to adult males.

The bobcat is the most commonly known wildcat in North America. Here's one in Yosemite National Park.
The bobcat is the most commonly known wildcat in North America. Here's one in Yosemite National Park. | Source

1. Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

Diet: rabbits, mice, squirrels, reptiles and fowl (including farmers' chickens)

Size: 26–41 inches long (minus the tail, which is 4–7 inches)

Weight: 11–30 pounds

Average Life Span in the Wild: 10–12 years

Range: from southern Canada through most of Mexico

Physical Description: The bobcat and the Canadian lynx are sometimes thought of as the same animal. They are both of the same family but they belong to different species. The bobcat is about twice the size of the average house cat, with long legs, large paws and black-tufted ears. They get their name from their short, black-tipped tail, which appears to be “bobbed” or cut off.

Conservation Status: Least Concern (i.e. does not qualify as threatened or near threatened), population stable

Fun Fact

The bobcat has the largest range and is the most abundant of any wildcat in North America.

Bobcats are nocturnal animals and are rarely seen by humans. They inhabit woodlands, forest areas and swamp lands, as well as some semi-arid areas. Some scientists speculate that the “tufts” of their ears are used like hearing aids.

Due to their proclivity for eating the farmer’s chickens, they are often regarded as a nuisance and are shot by farmers. Many hunters will also kill bobcats as they eat the quail, pheasant and chukar that many hunters shoot for sport.

Canada Lynx Near Whitehorse, Yukon
Canada Lynx Near Whitehorse, Yukon | Source

2. Canadian Lynx (Lynx canadensis)

Diet: mostly snowshoe hares, but also mice, red squirrels, voles and grouse

Size: 32–40 inches long (minus the tail, which is 4–8 inches)

Weight: 22–44 pounds

Average Life Span in the Wild: up to 15 years

Range: Canada and the northern United States

Physical Description: The Canada lynx is about the same size as the bobcat—though the lynx has more hair, especially around the face and feet to keep them warmer in the colder climate. Both species have tufted ears and a bobbed, black-tipped tail as well. Their feet are used as “snow shoes” and are larger and hairier than a bobcat's for added insulation from the cold and snow.

Conservation Status: Least Concern, population stable

Fun Fact

Lynx have excellent eyesight; they can spot a mouse up to 250 feet away! Interestingly, this trait is reflected in myths from several cultures. The lynx is a popular figure in Greek, Norse, and North American mythology—it sees what others can't and is skilled at revealing hidden truths.

The lynx is actually the bobcat's “cold weather” cousin. There are several species of lynx. The Asian and European lynxes are larger that the North American species, the Canada lynx.

As the name would suggest, Canada lynx are generally found in Canada, though they also inhabit some of the colder parts of the US. They inhabit mainly forest and tundra regions, and they know how to make the most of their environment; in order to save their prey to eat later, Canada lynxes will often cover it with a layer of snow!

The Canada lynxes' diet consists mainly of snowshoe hares. There is a correlation between the number of snowshoe hares and the population of lynx. As the number of snowshoe hares decline, so do the number of lynx. The larger Eurasian lynx will hunt deer as well as smaller animals.

The ocelot is sometimes called the painted leopard.
The ocelot is sometimes called the painted leopard. | Source

3. Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)

Diet: birds, mammals (from rodents to small monkeys), frogs and reptiles

Size: 22–39 inches long (minus the tail, which is 10–16 inches)

Weight: 24–35 pounds

Average Life Span in the Wild: 7–10 years

Range: primarily from Mexico through northern South America, with very few specimens in southernmost Texas and Arizona

Physical Description: The ocelot has short, tawny or reddish-brown fur with black spots and rosette-shaped markings. Their faces have two black stripes down each side (running from the muzzle and eyes back toward the neck) and their tails have black bands.

Conservation Status: Least Concern, population decreasing. Though ocelots are listed as "Least Concern" on the IUCN Red List, they are endangered in the United States. At one time, they could be found throughout the southwestern parts of the country; however, due to their beautifully spotted fur, they were illegally hunted to the point that their only remaining footholds in the US are in a few small, southernmost areas of Texas and Arizona.

Fun Fact

While most cats strip their prey of feathers and fur as they eat it, ocelots refuse to eat even a bite until they've plucked off every last feather and bit of fur.

The ocelot is sometimes called the “Painted Leopard” or "Dwarf Leopard". They can often be found in trees, stalking their prey, and unlike most other cats, ocelots don’t mind the water and can swim very well. They are primarily nocturnal, solitary animals.

Cougars are known by many names, such as mountain lion, puma, and panther.
Cougars are known by many names, such as mountain lion, puma, and panther. | Source

4. Mountain Lion (Felis concolor or Puma concolor)

Diet: preferably deer, but also coyotes and other mammals (e.g. raccoons and porcupines)

Size: 59–108 inches long (minus the tail, which is 21–36 inches)

Weight: 120–140 pounds

Top Speed: 50 mph

Average Life Span in the Wild: 8–13 years

Range: Primarily found in southwestern Canada, the western US, and almost all of Mexico and Central and South America. Small numbers found in pockets of several other state, including Florida and Nebraska, and parts of central Canada. There have also been sightings in Georgia, as well as North and South Carolina, and small populations are returning to states such as Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas.

Physical Description: Mountain lions are beautiful animals with tawny-colored coats (ranging from brown to reddish or grayish) and no markings. Their ears have black marks on the back, and their chests are white. They also have white fur around their mouth and on their neck, belly and inner legs.

Conservation Status: Least Concern, population decreasing. Though the cougar population was nearly extirpated in most of its eastern North American range, it is globally listed as "Least Concern".

Fun Fact

Although mountain lions are large and have many characteristics of the "big cats", they are still considered to be in the "small cat" family. They are, however, the largest cats in that category.

The mountain lion goes by several names—puma, cougar, catamount, and panther—and is a powerful and feared predator.

Mountain lions have been known to attack humans. However, statistics show that on average, there are only 4 attacks and 1 death each year in all of the US and Canada. Mountain lions will be more likely to attack a person who is alone or a small child.

Jaguar Spotted at the Three Brothers River in Brazil
Jaguar Spotted at the Three Brothers River in Brazil | Source

5. Jaguar (Panthera onca)

Diet: deer, crocodiles, snakes, monkeys, sloths, tapirs, turtles, frogs, fish and eggs

Size: 60–72 inches long (minus the tail, which is 27–36 inches)

Weight: 79–211 pounds (but some adult males have weighed as much as 350 pounds!)

Top Speed: 50 mph

Average Life Span in the Wild: 12–15 years

Range: from Mexico through Central and South America

Physical Description: The jaguar resembles a leopard but is usually larger and more sturdy. It has a broader head and shorter legs than the leopard. Their coat is usually yellow or tan but can vary from brown to black as well. Their spots are more solid on their head and neck, becoming rosette-type patterns along their sides and back (this is another way to tell jaguars and leopards apart—the rosettes on a jaguars' coats have spots inside them).

Conservation Status: The jaguar is listed as "Near Threatened". Sadly, though jaguars were once widespread in the United States, only a few now remain here. Their population has been almost completely eliminated in the United States, though there are occasional sightings along the border of Arizona and Mexico, with a group of 80–120 being found in remote areas of the Sonora Mountains. It is estimated that approximately 15,000 jaguars remain in the wild, with the greatest populations in Mexico and South America.

Fun Fact

The name "jaguar" is derived from the Native American word "yaguar," which means “he who kills with one leap”.

The jaguar is a solitary wild cat and normally lives and hunts alone. Their territory can range from between 19 to about 55 miles. Jaguars normally hunt on the ground, but will also climb trees and pounce on their prey from above. Like ocelots, jaguars also enjoy the water and will catch and eat fish. The jaguar has extremely powerful jaws and is known to pierce the skull of its prey, biting directly into the brain.

Jaguar Stalking and Attacking Crocodile

Jaguarundi on the Prowl
Jaguarundi on the Prowl | Source

6. Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi)

Diet: rodents, rabbits, possums, armadillos, fowl (from quail to turkey), reptiles, amphibians, and farmer's chickens

Size: 21–30 inches long (minus the tail, which is 12–24 inches)

Weight: 6–20 pounds

Average Life Span in the Wild: 10–12 years

Range: from Mexico through Central and South America

Physical Description: Jaguarundis look more like weasels than the rest of their feline family, with slender bodies, short legs and sleek coats. Their coloring ranges from black or brownish-grey to red, and a litter can contain any combination of the colors (though the darker colors usually occur in the rain forest and the lighter colors in more arid environments).

Conservation Status: Least Concern, population decreasing

Fun Fact

Jaguarundis are some of the only felines that don't have contrasting colors on the backs of their ears.

Jaguarundis are solitary cats, though they occasionally travel in pairs, and unlike most other cats, they are generally most active during the day. Allegedly, they were once used to control rodent populations in Central America, though this is no longer the case.

Wildcats and Habitat Loss

Though most of these wildcats are quite elusive, habitat loss is pushing them into closer and closer contact with humans. To find out more about habitat loss and what you can do to fight it, visit The National Wildlife Federation's website.

While wildcats (and other wildlife) are being forced to venture closer to urban areas, it's still fairly rare to come into contact with any of these felines. In any case, at least now you know a little more about the wonderful wildcats of North America.

Wildcat Kittens

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bobcat KittensCanada Lynx KittenCanada Lynx KittensMountain Lion KittensMountain Lion KittensBaby Jaguar at the Salzburg Zoo (2009)
Bobcat Kittens
Bobcat Kittens | Source
Canada Lynx Kitten
Canada Lynx Kitten | Source
Canada Lynx Kittens
Canada Lynx Kittens | Source
Mountain Lion Kittens
Mountain Lion Kittens | Source
Mountain Lion Kittens
Mountain Lion Kittens | Source
Baby Jaguar at the Salzburg Zoo (2009)
Baby Jaguar at the Salzburg Zoo (2009) | Source

Sources

  • Bobcat. (2018, September 21). National Geographic. Retrieved on December 12, 2018.
  • Lynx. (2018, September 24). National Geographic. Retrieved on December 12, 2018.
  • Basic Facts About Canada Lynx. (2016, September 19). Defenders of Wildlife. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  • Ocelot. (2018, September 21). National Geographic. Retrieved on December 12, 2018.
  • Ocelot. (n.d.). San Diego Zoo. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  • Cougar. (2018, September 21). National Geographic. Retrieved on December 12, 2018.
  • Jaguar. (2018, September 21). National Geographic. Retrieved on December 12, 2018.
  • The top 5 differences between jaguars and leopards. (2015, April 21). Wildcat Sanctuary. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  • Jaguarundi Facts. (2018, January 18). Big Cat Rescue. Retrieved December 12, 2018.

Questions & Answers

  • What species of cat is it that lives in the swamps of southern Louisiana? Its coat is darker and it’s stockier than the pictures I found of the Florida panther.

    The only wildcats that are known to be in southern Louisiana are the cougar and the bobcat.

© 2012 Sheila Brown

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    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      3 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

      That's great, JC. I am glad to hear that their range is improving! Thank you for your comment! :)

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      3 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I would not say that it is impossible. :)

    • profile image

      JC 

      3 months ago

      The Eastern Cougar is far from extinct. They both males and females as well as their young are all over the place in SC. As a matter of fact we have some shots of them on our game-cam.

    • profile image

      ghh 

      3 months ago

      my uncle swears he saw a mountain lion in south Carolina is that possible

    • profile image

      CarlaC 

      4 months ago

      I saw a black panther in OK a few years ago. I’m glad to know others have seen them as well.

    • profile image

      Rhett.rotten 

      7 months ago

      I’ve seen black panthers in Oklahoma, and species with completely different characteristics not name or either hybrids, Kansas as well up to Montana

    • profile image

      Judy Willis 

      11 months ago

      About 6 years ago this month we had an Ocelot jump the fence e into the Back Yard of our North east Mesa home in LasSendasnot more then 7 miles from saguaro Lake. It was a beauty I am familiar with them know this was one.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      18 months ago from America

      We had a cougar living close to us. One early morning when it was still dark my husband was snow blowing. He came back along the drive and the lights on his machine fell on tracks in the snow. A cougar had been trailing behind him.

      In the spring the cougar was seen with little ones.

      People use to also keep ocelots as pets. We use to see them when we lived in Calif.

      Enjoyed your hub.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      18 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I did mention the Florida panthers, (The cougars population was nearly extirpated in most of its eastern North American range, except for Florida where there is a subspecies referred to as the Florida panther,). The mountain lion goes by several names. He is also knows as puma, cougar, catamount, and panther. There is an entire segment about the mountain lion... :)

    • profile image

      marshall 

      18 months ago

      you left out the small population of (Floridian) panthers left, and the eastern puma (if you count recently extinct), and mountain lions

    • profile image

      Adi 

      19 months ago

      Mac is incorrect, she didn't "forget" panthers. The term "panther" doesn't denote a specific classification of cats, it's a term that's used in various ways in reference to large cats of several different species. Most commonly, it refers to melanistic leopards and jaguars. What Mac is thinking of is the "Florida panther", which is one of the several regional names for cougars aka mountain lions. The section on mountain lions notes that they are known by several names, including panther.

    • profile image

      Leen 

      20 months ago

      The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas.

    • profile image

      Mac 

      20 months ago

      She forgot Panthers they live on Florida and spotted in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina

    • profile image

      Im Everbody 

      21 months ago

      typo report:

      they have been illegally hung to the point should read illegally hunted

    • profile image

      Confounded 

      21 months ago

      Actually cougar are more prevalent in the western and northwestern part of the United States where in some places like eastern Oregon they number as many as a pair per square mile. Many people in the blue mountains, sierras, elkhorns, cascade ranges, the Rockies all have prevalent cougar populations and encounter them on a regular basis

    • profile image

      Perplexed1 

      22 months ago

      How about jaguars and jaguarundis. They live in Mexico and Central America, which last I checked, are part of North America?

    • profile image

      albert 

      23 months ago

      i love ricegum

      amd

    • profile image

      SR 

      23 months ago

      You need to do you're research. I live in Oregon and cougars are all over. Just 3 months ago we saw one down the road from us in Newport Oregon, two nights ago one was hit by a car 5 min from my house. I hunt every year and either hear or see them in the woods. I also have a friend who holds the record for largest cat killed with a bow by a woman in Oregon. Currently in Oregon there are over an estimated 6,500 lions living here with most being in the western half.

    • profile image

      K.Anne 

      2 years ago

      There are good introductions here and great pictures of these big cats. I would like to ask you to study further the mountain lions or pumas, as I believe some of the information provided may be outdated or incomplete. I grew up in Northern CA and have spent a career (30 years as a professional) working in the wild environment there. I don't know that I would call mountain lions common, but there is a healthy population within the Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascade Mountains. They are a magnificent animal, intelligent and curious. I am perplexed at the fear people have for these animals. The key to living in lion country is respect them, and don't act like prey. Having spent 50 years living, hiking, skiing, backpacking, and sharing their habitat, from small cities to an isolated wilderness cabin, I have been blessed to only see a mountain lion three times. Each time as soon as they were aware of my presence they disappeared into the forest. I have seen many bobcats, but the lions were more elusive. Usually if we encounter a lion that has become a nuisance or danger within a neighborhood, it is either a younger lion newly independent from its mother, and has not successfully found its own territory; or an older lion which is having trouble hunting and surviving due to the infirmity of age.

      These wonderful cats are being crowded and endangered by loss of habitat and mankind's actions. Mountain lion attacks on people in North America are rare, and deaths are few. You CAN fight off a mountain lion (unlike a bear) if you get the chance. I fear unknown, loose large breed domestic dogs (which are responsible for far more attacks including fatalities every year within the U.S.) much more than the mountain lions that share the forest around my home (I know of one female which has an established territory which my home is in, and a male that wanders through occasionally).

      Thank you for allowing my long post. Keep up the great articles.

    • profile image

      Aaron 

      2 years ago

      What about jaguars? Several sighted in Arizona, common in Mexico

    • profile image

      Kylun 

      2 years ago

      this article is very informative and very trustworthy. thank you sgbrown for this article

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Thank you Taranwanderer. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

    • Taranwanderer profile image

      Taranwanderer 

      4 years ago

      Very informative hub on the more obscure cats of the family Felidae. Most people are only familiar with the tiger, leopard, jaguar, cheetah and lion. https://hubpages.com/education/Wild-Cats-Facts-Abo...

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 

      4 years ago from Minnesota

      Very informative page, Sheila. I do get to see a Ferrell, Puma and Bobcat around here on occasion. They tend to stay clear of humans, and that is probably smart on their part. Voted up!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      4 years ago

      I had a bobcat walk through my garden the other morning. It was surprisingly small but you could not mistake it for a common house cat though it was not much larger. The ears are quite different and it goes about hunting in a no nonsense way.

      Most house cats I have seen wonder when you are going to do something useful like feed them. Else, get lost.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Indian Chef! Tigers are one of my favorites too. Of the four wildcats in North America, we have many bobcats around where I live. I have seen several of them here on our place. Now people are saying that they are seeing the Mountain Lion around here also, this scares me a little as they are excellent hunters and very large. I go walking in the woods by myself quite often, this may be becoming dangerous now. There was another reported sighting of a mountain lion just a few miles from us last week. I would love to see one, but from afar! Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate your kind words and support! Have a wonderful day! :)

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 

      6 years ago from New Delhi India

      Hi Mrs Brown, I like big cats and tigers are my fav. I like lions too. Out of 4 you mentioned I like mountain lion. The cats are supreme predators, from their eyes to their toes to their tail, everything looks like made for the hunt. Very good hub. Voting it up and sharing here.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hi Gus! Usually feral cats don't get that large. Maybe it was a cross between a feral cat and a bobcat, I don't know. I DO know what words would have come out of my mouth and I bet they were about the same! LOL Thanks for the visit and the story, it was a good one! :)

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      6 years ago from USA

      Howdy Sheila (sgbrown) -

      One time we lived on a cattle farm where there stood a big barn. We used to go inside the barn to shoot rats, of which there were a gazillion. On one such visit to the barn I heard a loud screeching yowl from what was surely a big (BIG) cat. I looked up at the hayloft and there it was - BIG - but it was a domestic cat, white and black fur and the usual house cat look but for its huge size. I did not say, "Hi kitty, kitty." I said, " See you some other time..." and maybe a few other good words that come to mind at times like that. :-)

      Gus :-)))

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hi Peggy! I have to say that I would love to see a cougar in the wild, but I would be soooo SCARED at the same time. It's probably a good thing that there were more people than just the two of you. I bet that was an amazing experience! Thanks for stopping in and the votes and share! Have a wonderful day! :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Sheila,

      This was a fascinating look at the wildcats of North America. The only one that I have ever seen in the wild was in Yosemite National Park. My German girlfriend and I were hiking along a path and another person actually spotted the head and shoulders of a cougar behind a rock not that far away from the path. His coloration blended in perfectly with the colors of the rock and he was motionless. We paused a moment to look at him as did others on the path...and suddenly he disappeared from view. It was an amazing experience. UUI votes and sharing.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello adh071185! The only wild cat I have actually seen in the wild, so far, is the bobcat. I did get to see one crossing the back of our place a few years ago. It was very exciting! My husband has seen many of them, when he deer hunts out back. I would love to see more! Thank you for your kind comment and welcome to HubPages. I look forward to see you publish some hubs here! :)

    • adh071185 profile image

      Aaron 

      6 years ago from Southern United States

      A very interesting hub with good facts. As an avid hiker and backpacker I have had occasion to encounter a few of these animals and believe me you never forget the experience.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Indian Chef! I love the "big cats". They are all so beautiful and majestic! I would have loved to see the Asiatic Lion! Thank you for your kind words and comment. Have a wonderful day! :)

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 

      6 years ago from New Delhi India

      Wonderful Hub. I come from India which is home of big cats and I love cats. Usually our cats ( domestic or simple cats not big cats) are not big. But big cats like tiger and lions and cheetas are wonderful. I went to Gir National park and I saw an Asiatic Lion there sitting in open. It was such a magnificient site.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello DDE! Thank you for stopping by and commenting, it is always appreciated! :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Incredible cats their color and patterns are unique, you informed me correctly

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello FullOfLoveSites! I would love to do the same thing! I would love to have an ocelot too! They are just about the right size! Thanks for stopping in and commenting! It is always appreciated! :)

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 

      6 years ago from United States

      I wish I could make any of these gorgeous wild cats a pet and a guard cat at the same time. The ocelot is cute!

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hi Terrye! I would have loved to see that mountain lion. As long as it wasn't too up close! :) Thank you for stopping in, commenting and voting! Have a beautiful day! :)

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Fantastic hub, SG! I actually saw a mountain lion in an orchard in Visalia, CA in 2002. I was shocked and amazed! It was huge! :) Loved all the information in this. Voted up and more.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Jenn-Anne! I have seen two bobcats, at different times, walk across our backyard before. It was awesome! One of my sons was sitting in a tree stand deer hunting one morning when he looked around and saw a bobcat watching him from the tree next to him. He said he nearly fell out of the tree! The bobcat just jumped down and walked off. He will never forget that! Thanks for stopping in and the vote up! Have a great day! :)

    • Jenn-Anne profile image

      Jenn-Anne 

      6 years ago

      What beautiful animals! I saw a bobcat once many years ago. It was along the side of the road and slipped into the woods as I drove by. I only caught a fleeting glimpse but I've never forgotten it. Informative hub. Voted up!

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello RTalloni! I love wildcats. I have had to be reminded that they are wild creatures as well. The bobcats around here do keep the mice and field rat population down, but they also eat the quail that is trying to make a come back here. Of course, hubby would never shoot one of them, it's more of a "let nature take it's course" thing. No one I know personally has ever seen a mountain lion around here, so I am not sure there are any. I have never seen any tracks either. I would really hate to have to stop taking my walks alone in the woods.

      Thank you for your kind words! Hub hugs back to you, my friend! :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Sure enjoyed seeing these cats highlighted here--such beautiful creatures they are! Seeing them move and watching their alert eyes in the videos was pure joy. I am one who would have to be reminded that they are wild animals, and predators at that.

      The fact that big cats help keep the rodent population down, and even help with the coyote population makes them invaluable. The rodents and coyotes can do a great deal of damage as well as carry diseases via fleas and ticks that kill other animals and people.

      Though I'm sure there are hunters who kill some of these cats, the hunters I know would not do so unless they were attacked by one, which is very unlikely. Farmers are a different story but they generally only protect their families and farm animals from predators, though I am sure that some go sadly beyond the need to do so.

      The information you've shared is interesting--an enjoyable hub here, thanks!

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello again mperrottet! :) I have seen 2 bobcats here where I live in Oklahoma, but my husband has seen many. I expected them to be a bit bigger myself, but they are about the size of a very large house cat. They are really beautiful too! Yes, the Florida Panther is on the endangered list. Now that is just the "Florida Panther", not the cougar/puma that is found in other parts of the US. Thank you for visiting my hubs. I appreciated your comments and votes! Again, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and be safe if you travel! :)

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 

      6 years ago from San Antonio, FL

      Interesting, informative hub. I've seen lots of wildlife, but never a wildcat. I didn't realize that bobcats were so small. I was wondering - is the Florida panther endangered also? Great hub - voted up and interesting.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Sharkye11! I apologize for the delay in replying to your comment here. I have had some computer issues today. Hopefully have them resolved now. I have seen bobcats in my backyard, but never a mountain lion! Actually, that would scare the hell out of me! You need to write a hub about that, I would love to hear all about it! Thank you for stopping in, reading and your great comment here! Have a great day and stay away from the mountain lions, PLEASE! :)

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      I have never seen an ocelot in person. I have had the honor to see the others, (the lynx was in a zoo, the bobcat and mountain lion were up close and personal in my backyard!) I love the pictures in this hub! Voting up and more!

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Thank you bravewarrior! It is so sad that our wildcats are being hunted for financial gain. I have never heard of anyone hunting wildcats for food. Some people just don't care, all they think about is money. I'm glad your enjoyed my hub and I thank you for your wonderful comment! Have a wonderful day! :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Shiela, what an amazing, although sad hub! I have always been fascinated by wildcats. This is probably why I'm a cat lover and prefer them to dogs (I have 3 cats). It is so sad to see what is happening to this majectic animal. They are being hunted for pure sport and financial gain. Not one of these videos mentioned hunting them for food.

      We still have a few cougars, sometimes called Florida Panthers, living in the Everglades. It's a shame what Man is doing to Nature's cycle.

      I found it rather fascinating to learn the difference between 'lesser' cats and the larger lions, tigers, etc. I was unaware of the purring versus roaring capabilities.

      Thank you for this most informative article. The videos were a nice learning tool, as well.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Larry. I have heard that the cougar are getting into areas that either they are new to or their presence just hasn't been documented yet. They say that we don't have cougars in my area, buy several people have reported seeing them. Thank you for useful comment, I will try to incorporate your information into my hub. Have a great day! :)

    • profile image

      Larry Arseneau 

      6 years ago

      Don't know how much u have researched but there are many

      Cougar in both Oregon and Washinton. I have seen several

      during my many years of hunting and roaming the woods...

      Larry

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello tsadjatko! No, I didn't know about the Pixiebobs. That is very interestesting! I had not heard of the Bengal cats either. This information would make a great hub. You know more about these new species than I and it is your idea, maybe you should write the hub on this. :) I would be excited to read it! Thank you so much for stopping in and reading and leaving such wonderful and informational comment! :)

    • tsadjatko profile image

      6 years ago from now on

      Great and interesting hub. Did you know they have crossed Bobcats with domestic cats and developed a domestic breed called Pixiebobs? This is also what they've done with the Serval to create Savanah Cats and the Asian Leopard Cat to give a very popular domestic spotted breed called Bengal cats. A hub on those three breeds would be very interesting and beautiful.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Mary! I was replying to your kind comment and I'm not sure what happened, but everything disappeared. I just want you to know how much I appreciarte your kind words and all your support. Thank for your votes and share! Have a wonderful day! :)

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Au fait! I love wild cats too. We have bob cats here, but I have only seen one twice. One of my sons was sitting in a tree stand during deer season and heard something move close by. When he looked in the tree beside hime, there sat a bob cat. Scared the crap out of him! He was afraid to move. The bob cat jumped down and just walked off. Me and his dad couldn't help but laugh. Thank you for stopping in and leaving such an interesting comment. I enjoyed it! Thank you for the votes and share too! Have a wonderful day! :)

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Sheila. I have always loved these cats. We actually had a Bobcat sighted nearby last week. He/she was just beautiful. Would love to see an Ocelot. Great job. VU, sharing, etc.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Wonderful information on some of the most beautiful cats. How sad they, like so many others, are being driven out. You did a stellar job of giving us so much information on each of them. I have to agree the ocelot is a beautiful cat!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      I love cats, especially wild cats. Where I grew up in central Wisconsin we had lynx and bobcats roaming around and sometimes they would scream at night and the hair would raise up on the back of your neck. The lynx especially, sounded just like a woman screaming as though her life were in danger.

      Excellent hub. Beautiful photos. Voted up, interesting, and shared!

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Alastar! Thank you. I love animals and learning new things about them and then sharing that information. We have heard several stories about mountain lions being in our area, but I think that is mostly someone's imagination. I haven't heard of anyone finding any tracks or animals being found dead. I understand they are making a comeback and I am very glad. I hate to see any animals on the verge of extinction. I would personally love to see an ocelot in the wild. Thank you for stopping in and commenting, it is always appreciated! Have a great day! :)

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Very fine compilation on the cats, Shelia. Cool vids too. The mountain lions are making a comeback in many places they were once thought extinct. Many sightings and evidence from right here in N.C. and elsewhere in the south. Anyway all these beautiful creatures deserve and belong in what nature is left to them.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Grandmapearl! Thank you for your kind comment! Yes, please be careful when walking in the woods. You really need to take someone with you, or at least a large dog. I am going to worry about you now! Thanks for stopping in and all your support, I really appreciate you! :)

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 

      6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi sgbrown! This is a very informative and interesting article. I particularly love the ocelot. What a beautiful animal.

      Not too long ago, a few mountain lions were introduced into the nearby area because of the large deer population. As a result, I keep a sharp eye out when I'm walking in the woods!

      Voted this one Up, Useful, Interesting and Beautiful. Thanks for sharing all this good info!

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello AliciaC! You are very welcome. I am glad you enjoyed my hub. I love anything to do with animals and nature. Thank you for your kind words! Have a wonderful day! :)

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for all the information and for sharing the beautiful photos and videos, sgbrown. These cats are fascinating animals! Your hub is informative and very enjoyable.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Rachel! Thank you! I would not be surprised to see a mountain lion almost anywhere these days. Thank you for stopping in and commenting. I always enjoy hearing from you! Have a wonderful day! :)

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Eddy! Thank you for stopping in and commenting, it is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day too! :)

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

      Very cool hub! I could almost swear that I saw a mountain lion when I was a kid on a car ride from PA to Wisconsin. My father thought I was just sleepy, but boy I tell ya, this thing looked like a mountain lion! Guess it really couldn't have been :) Anyway, great hub!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      6 years ago from Wales

      An amazing hub and thank you for sharing.

      Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Carol! I have seen 2 bobcats myself, here in Oklahoma. Housecats still have that natural wild instinct, don't they. I almost brought home a baby bobcat that was found alone in the wild one time. ( I wasn't the one that found it.) But at the time I lived in town and that would not have worked out well. Thank you for stopping in, commenting and voting. I always appreciate hearing from you!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I have seen a bobcat in Arizona. I look at my little housecats and know they have that wildness inbred somewhere. Watching them fight I know they do. This was very interesting and now I know where they all are. Voting up++++

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Hello Faith Reaper! Thank you for your kind words. I have also learned some things from "Dora". We watch her 3 days a week with our youngest granddaughter here! LOL I guess we are never to old to learn something new! Thank you for your comment and votes. I always love hearing from you! Have a blessed day! Oh and congratulations on your new grandchild! :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Oh what beautiful creatures and imagery you have here. I did not know of all of these except the mountain lion, cougar, and bobcat. I leanred of the puma, sad to say, while watching "Dora the Explorer" with my granddaughters. LOL The Ocelt is so very beautiful. Thanks for this excellent hub here. Voted up, up, up . . .

      God Bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • sgbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Brown 

      6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I have seen a bobcat in the wild, but not a cougar. But then, I don't live in "cougar" country. Some people say they have seen "panthers" in this area. I don't go walking in the country without a pistol anymore. I'm sure they cougar ran away as he felt threatened by several people. I'm glad the man was not alone! Thank you for stopping in, voting and leaving such an interesting comment. I appreciate it very much! :)

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      Hi sgbrown. Several years ago, some of my outdoor friends did the short Silver Creek hike, in California's Northern Sierra Foothills. When the trail petered out they sat down and ate lunch. The wind was blowing toward the people, and the noise of the running water drowned out any of their noises. An older gentleman in the group spotted a cougar. He stood up and said: Look, there's a mountain lion! Then the big cat ran away. So much for the king of the jungle.

      Voted up and interesting.

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