A-z - Animals

Bobcat Size Comparison: How Big Are Bobcats?

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key point:

  • Male bobcats can weigh anywhere from 18 to 35 pounds and can grow up to 37 inches from nose to tail. Females grow to 32 inches long and weigh 30 pounds.
  • An adult bobcat will reach the knees of an average person.
  • Bobcats can be found in a variety of North American ecosystems, from the cold climates of Canada to the scorching deserts of Mexico.

Bobcats are at least twice the size of the average house cat, but have you ever wondered how they stack up against Fido? It's hard to guess if they would see eye to eye if they weren't together.

That's why we created this complete bobcat size comparison so you can see how big these feral cats are compared to dogs, foxes, wolves, and even you!

Bobcat Types and Their Sizes

Lynx Size Comparison Bobcats vs. Humans and Wolves
from top to bottom. A wolf, a German shepherd, a bobcat and a fox. As you can see from this bobcat size comparison, they are smaller than most canids, but quite large.

© AZ-Animals.com

Lynx, whose scientific name is Lynx rufus , can be found in a wide range of ecosystems in North America, from the cold climates of Canada to the hot deserts of Mexico. With such a range, they have evolved into many suitable subspecies.

These include the following subspecies, all of which begin with Lynx rufus (such as Lync rufus Baileyi , which is a subspecies):

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While bobcats go by many different names, there are few physical differences between them. Although they may come in different colors, all bobcats have a distinct (or should we say distinct ) short tail.

They also tend to be relatively similar in size, with male bobcats often growing larger than females. Male bobcats can weigh anywhere from 18 to 35 pounds and can grow up to 37 inches from nose to tail. Female bobcats, on the other hand, don't weigh more than 30 pounds or exceed 32 inches.

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But how does their size compare to humans or some of our favorite canids?

Lynx vs. Human Size Comparison

Bobcat Size Comparison - Bobcats vs. Humans
A person stands next to (from largest to smallest) a wolf, a dog, a bobcat and a fox.

© AZ-Animals.com

Although bobcats are top predators, they probably won't seem too intimidating if you stumble across them in the woods. After all, they're probably no taller than your knees—and that's their maximum height!

However, it can be difficult to determine just how big a bobcat is when you look at its size from nose to tail. To create a better bobcat size compared to a human, imagine lifting a bobcat on its hind legs – then they're only as tall as a two year old!

Bobcats also weigh about the same as the average two-year-old.

Lynx vs wolf size comparison

Mackenzie Valley Wolf, two wolves in the snow.
Mackenzie Valley wolves are the largest wolves.

© imageBROKER.com/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to lynx versus wolf size comparisons, we won't see these two top predators agreeing anytime soon.

The largest wolf is the Mackenzie Valley wolf, which can grow up to 34 inches from ground to shoulder and weigh up to 175 pounds. That means it would take several of the heaviest bobcats to weigh as much as a full-grown Mackenzie Valley wolf.

And, since adult bobcats typically only grow to a maximum height at the shoulder of 24 inches, bobcats are two iPhones shorter than wolves.

However, one of the smallest wolf species is the Arabian wolf. Small enough to be easily mistaken for coyotes, these wolves can only grow to a maximum height of 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh no more than 45 pounds. So while they're still bigger than bobcats, they're a much more even match.

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bobcat vs dog size comparison

Harlequin Great Dane
The Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds, holding multiple records for the "largest living dog breed."

© Viborg/Creative Commons

With so many breeds of dogs, it's hard to see how big bobcats are compared to them. To make it easier to grasp bobcat size, we compared them to the largest breed (Great Dane) and smallest breed (Chihuahua).

While some of the largest Great Danes are several feet tall, the average male only grows to about 34 inches at the shoulder—just under 3 feet. However, they can average up to 200 pounds, with many giant dogs weighing even more.

So bobcats may have been more of a chew toy than an apex predator to these gentle giants.

Great Danes are not too far removed from humans, especially young children. So expect the bobcat to probably get around the Great Dane's chest — unless we're up against a record-breaking Dane like the Titan.

However, things can change when it comes to Chihuahuas. Chihuahuas tend to only grow to around 10 inches, and you don't have to worry about these pugs weighing more than 6 pounds. This means that Chihuahuas look at bobcats like bobcats look at Great Danes!

In fact, it takes about three Chihuahuas stacked on top of each other to reach the same height as a bobcat. When it comes to balancing the scale? You'd need about 8 heavy chihuahuas to reach the same weight as some of the smallest bobcats.

bobcat vs fox size comparison

Fennec fox facing the camera
The fennec fox is the smallest fox. Eight fennec foxes weigh as much as a bobcat.

©DONGSEUN YANG/Shutterstock.com

While canids seem to tend to outsize bobcats, the story changes with foxes. Especially since bobcats are predators of foxes!

North America is home to many species of foxes, but the common red fox is the most common. These are also the ones you'll be most familiar with, with their signature fluffy redtail and whitetail. Standing 20 inches tall at the withers, foxes tend to sit close to the mid-calf of humans. That makes them a few inches smaller than bobcats—shorter around the credit card, to be exact.

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However, despite their differences in height, foxes and bobcats seem to be very well matched when it comes to weight. After all, the average red fox weighs about 30 pounds, the same as a bobcat.

The smallest species of fox, though, is the fennec fox. These can-sized canines only grow to about 8 inches long and weigh about 4 pounds. This makes them the perfect snack for bobcats, which are nearly 8 times heavier and 4 times taller.

Not sure how big bobcats are compared to fennec foxes? Think a bottle of ketchup and two bowling balls.

bobcat with a mouse
Bobcats are carnivores and skilled hunters.

© gobirdnerds/Shutterstock.com

hunting and eating

Bobcats have been known to survive long periods of time without food, but when prey is available, they eat a lot. Bobcats hunt by stalking their prey, then swooping in to ambush them. They prefer small mammals that weigh between 1 pound and 12 pounds. Bobcats generally prefer to prey on eastern cottontails.

The bobcat is an opportunistic predator, which means it will eat what it can find while it finds it. Unlike Canadian bobcats, bobcats are not fussy eaters. Bobcats hunt prey of different sizes and adjust their hunting style to match the prey.

Bobcats have also been known to kill pronghorn or deer, and sometimes even elk in winter.

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