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Bobcat Size Comparison: How Big Are Bobcats Really?

Bobcats are not the largest predators around, but they are some of the most effective. Their size varies depending on region and age, as they can reach up to 49 pounds in weight. They are larger than foxes, coyotes, and lynxes but are smaller than mountain lions and wolves.

Bobcats are some of the most efficient predators in North America. They hunt anything from small mammals to deer and even elk if they have to.

But how big are they? How do they compare to other predators? 

In this article, we’ll show you how big bobcats are and compare them to other similar predators.

How Big Are Bobcats?

How Big Are Bobcats

Bobcats are medium-sized animals, weighing around 40 pounds and measuring 40 inches in length. Their size varies according to their age and the region they live in.

Bobcats are medium-sized mammals. They are comparable in size to red foxes and small coyotes. 

An average bobcat is about twice the size of an average house cat, with an average of around 40 inches long and 40 pounds heavy.

When born, bobcats weigh around half a pound and are about 10 inches in length. Around the age of one year, they usually weigh about 10 pounds.

Their size depends on the region they live in too. Like most animals, bobcats further north are bigger than ones in the south.[1]

How Much Can Bobcats Weigh?

Bobcats can reach more than 40 pounds in weight. The heaviest officially confirmed bobcat weighed 51 pounds or 23 kilograms.[2] This weight is considered irregular as a 30-pound feline is large.

There are many reports of heavier bobcats, some mentioning numbers as high as 76 pounds.[3] 

A bobcat of that size would be huge, around the size of a wolf. It’s unlikely that such an animal was actually caught.

How Long Do Bobcats Get?

Bobcats average around 33 inches in length (84 cm), but are known to grow up to 50 inches (127 cm). 

There are reports of longer bobcats, but none have been confirmed as longer than 50 inches.

How Tall Can Bobcats Be?

Bobcats’ height ranges from 12 to 24 inches at the shoulder. Their height is closely related to their length.

How Big Are Baby Bobcats?

What Do Bobcat Kittens Look Like
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Baby bobcats are around 10 inches long and weigh in at about half a pound when born. They grow up fast, weighing 10 pounds or more by the time they reach one year old.

Juvenile bobcats reach adult weight and length when at sexual maturity, around 12  months for females and 24 months for males. Some grow a bit more after that.

Bobcats vs. Humans Size Comparison

Bobcats are smaller than an average human. It is highly unlikely for bobcats to choose to attack humans, but they do defend themselves when cornered. There are no recorded human fatalities from bobcat attacks.

Bobcats vs. Humans Size Comparison

Bobcats are smaller than humans and are rarely a threat.

They can be dangerous to us, but it’s against a bobcat’s interest to attack people. They will defend themselves if they feel cornered, and a mother will defend her kittens. Apart from this, bobcats tend to keep their distance.

Here’s how the average male compares to a large bobcat:

  • Average man in the US: 198 pounds at a height of 5 feet 9 inches
  • Large male bobcat: 50 pounds at 4 feet 2 inches long

An average man can scare off most bobcats, and even if attacked the chances of a fatality are very small.

Bobcats vs. Dogs Size Comparison

Bobcats are about the same size as a Bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier, but dogs of the same size are generally heavier. Bobcats can be dangerous to some types of dogs and are known to hunt small ones.

Here’s a comparison of a large bobcat and several dog breeds sizes:

TraitBobcatBeagleGolden RetrieverTibetan Mastiff
Height24 inches16 inches24 inches29 inches
Weight50 pounds24 pounds75 pounds150 pounds

Bobcats pose a threat to smaller and medium-sized dogs. If you find yourself hiking in bobcat territory keep your dogs on a leash. 

Even a big dog like a Tibetan mastiff can be hurt by a bobcat.

Bobcats vs. Cats Size Comparison

The average bobcat is about double the size of the average domestic cat. Bobcats have no sympathy for their domestic cousins and are known to hunt them at times. Larger cats like a Maine Coon are also in danger as they lack the ferocity of a bobcat.

Bobcats vs. Cats Size Comparison

Cats are overall smaller than bobcats. Bobcats are about twice the size of your domestic cats and can easily defeat them. 

Bobcats are known to hunt stray and outside cats, especially around urban areas.[4]

The biggest cat breed is the Maine Coon. Here’s how it compares to the average bobcat:

TraitMaine Coon (large)Bobcat (average)
Height16 inches18 inches
Length40 inches33 inches
Weight25 pounds21 pounds

Bobcats are generally heavier than Maine Coons, even if the cat is longer. That, coupled with their hunting instincts, makes bobcats a danger to domestic and stray cats everywhere.

Bobcats vs. Wolves Size Comparison

Wolves are larger than bobcats. The two animals share territories across North America and occasionally run into each other in the wild. Wolves are much stronger, so bobcats avoid interactions with them.

Wolves and bobcats share territory throughout North America. They run into each other in the wild and are unlikely to get along. 

In some areas (such as Yellowstone National Park) wolves have been observed hunting bobcats. Bobcats have also been seen scavenging animals killed by wolves.[5]

Here is a size comparison of bobcats vs. wolves:

Height18 inches31 inches
Length33 inches50 inches
Weight21 pounds80 pounds

Wolves can get much bigger than bobcats. Rare individuals reach up to 170 pounds in weight and can be more than 6 feet long. 

Wolves hunt in packs, giving them the ability to take down much larger prey than bobcats.

Bobcats vs. Foxes vs. Coyotes Size Comparison

Bobcats, foxes, and coyotes are comparable in size, with the coyote being the largest of the three. All three prefer hunting smaller-sized animals but the fox is the weaker hunter. Coyotes can kill adult bobcats, and both coyotes and foxes can hunt bobcat kittens.

Bobcats vs. Foxes vs. Coyotes Size Comparison

Bobcats, foxes, and coyotes are similar in size and live in the same regions across North America. 

They also compete for food as they all hunt for small and medium-sized animals.

Here is a size comparison between bobcats, foxes, and coyotes:

TraitBobcatRed FoxCoyote
Height18 inches17 inches24 inches
Length33 inches40 inches46 inches
Weight21 pounds18 pounds37 pounds

The coyote is the strongest of the three which also shows in its behavior. When prey is scarce coyotes can hunt bobcats, also they don’t usually actively hunt them.[6]

Bobcats vs. Lynxes Size Comparison

Bobcats are slightly smaller than lynxes. Both are part of the Lynx genus and are closely related. Bobcats share territory with the Canada Lynx and are sometimes called red lynx.

Bobcats vs. Lynxes Size Comparison

Bobcats and the three other members of the lynx genus are collectively known as lynxes. 

The bobcat is on average the smallest of the genus but the difference in size isn’t significant:

TraitBobcatCanada LynxIberian LynxEurasian Lynx
Height18 inches21 inches25 inches26 inches
Length33 inches36 inches38 inches40 inches
Weight21 pounds25 pounds25 pounds36 pounds

Bobcats might be the smallest member of their close family, but they are some of the most versatile. 

They are much more adaptable than the Canada Lynx, with which they share some ranges.

Related: Lynx vs. Bobcat: Differences Explained

Bobcats vs. Mountain Lions Size Comparison

Mountain lions are much larger than bobcats. Both are felines that share a big range across North America, but the mountain lion is the stronger species. Mountain lions catch bigger prey and will kill bobcats if given the opportunity.

Compared to Mountain lions, bobcats seem small. Mountain lions are taller than bobcats, they weigh between three to five times as much as them.

This is how a large bobcat compares to the average mountain lion:

TraitBobcat (Large)Mountain Lion (Average)
Height24 inches30 inches
Length4 feet 1 inch7 feet 10 inches
Weight40 pounds150 pounds

Mountain lions are much larger and heavier than bobcats. 

They are also much stronger, and able to kill much large prey like elk regularly. They are known to kill bobcats when they have an opportunity.[7]


Bobcats are not the largest predators in their environment but they are very efficient. They don’t have a chance against a bigger animal like a wolf or mountain lion but can handle ones closer to them in size. Bobcats are dangerous to pet cats and dogs, and can hurt humans if threatened.

About Codrin Frunzete

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