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Mountain Lion vs Bobcat: Who Will Win the Battle?

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The puma, also known as the mountain lion, is a ferocious member of the subfamily of the cat family. These big cats are found throughout the Americas, where they are top predators in most environments. The cunning bobcat, also known as the lynx, is another member of the cat family that hunts throughout North America.

Since these two tough cats live in the same part of the world, it's only a matter of time before they have a showdown. So, who wins the Bobcats vs. Cougars? We've done the research and concluded who's going to win, so you don't have to.

Consider stamina, fighting ability, and other factors that will make a difference in this fight. We've broken down the vital data to show which of these cats can hang out like owning the place without looking back.

Comparison of Mountain Lions and Bobcats

mountain lion vs bobcat
Cougars are bigger, heavier and more powerful than bobcats.

© AZ-Animals.com

Comparing Cougars and Bobcats

mountain lion lynx
size Weight: 60 lbs – 130 lbs Length: 5' – 8' Height: 24" – 36" at the shoulder Weight: 9 lbs – 33 lbs Length: 2' – 3.5' Height: 12" – 24" at the shoulders
speed 30 mph 35 mph
Bite Force and Teeth 1311 N (estimated)
– Long, sharp canines kill prey instantly
548 N (estimated)
– razor-sharp teeth that tear apart flesh
the senses – AMAZING VISION FOR HUNTING IN LOW LIGHT – Superb hearing allows the cougar to hear the tiniest sounds of its prey.
– Poor sense of smell
– Very good visibility, especially at night.
– Excellent hearing.
– good sense of smell
defense – high speed
– Large size – good feeling
– Incredible running speed – powerful and terrifying roar
offensive ability – Very strong jaws – Long teeth – 2.5 inch claws – Strong bite, especially given the bobcat’s size – Sharp, retractable claws
predatory behavior – Ambushes predators, entangles prey with front legs and brings them to the ground – Very quiet, considerate hunter who inspects potential prey before attacking – Ambush stalkers – Soft feet allow bobcats to walk and run very quietly – Kill prey many times their size with a deadly bite

Key Factors in the Battle Between Mountain Lions and Bobcats

Cougars weigh three times as much as bobcats.

© Kwadrat/Shutterstock.com

Although bobcats and mountain lions are best described as two big cats with many behaviors in common, the truth is that there are some very important key differences between them.

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As with most fights, a bobcat vs mountain lion fight will depend on physical characteristics and fighting ability. We'll show you several key factors that affect our determination of which big cats will win a fight.

physical characteristics

deadliest cat - lynx
Bobcats are deadly hunters, using their speed and senses to hunt.

© Jack Bell Photography/Shutterstock.com

Size, speed, and the ability to resist and deal with damage are all physical elements that can affect a fight between a cougar and bobcat. These components can give one creature an advantage over another, even if the winner of the battle is obvious from the start.

Mountain Lion vs Bobcat: Size

Mountain lions are large animals that can expertly stalk other animals and can weigh up to 130 pounds or more. Plus, it's 3 feet tall and 8 feet long. Cougars are a type of big cat, much larger than bobcats.

Bobcats weigh just over 30 pounds, stand 2 feet tall and 3.5 feet long. Definitely a big animal, but not as big as a puma.

Mountain lions gain size advantage.

Mountain Lion vs Bobcat: Speed and Movement

Speed is not always proportional to size. Mountain lions run at 30 miles per hour, but bobcats can move through mountains and forests at 35 miles per hour, fast enough to run away from most predators or to hunt others down.

The Bobcats gained a speed advantage.

Mountain Lion vs Bobcat: Bite Force and Teeth

Both mountain lions and bobcats hunt and kill with their teeth. It is estimated that the bite force of the puma can reach a maximum of 1311 N, and the huge bite force indicates that the jaw is very powerful. Although it is much smaller, the lynx should have a bite force of about 548 N, a powerful bite force from a small animal.

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Both have large canine teeth that allow a deep bite on prey and are used to break bones and tear flesh.

With its sheer strength, the cougar gains bite and dental dominance.

Mountain Lion vs Bobcat: The Senses

Both cat species rely on sensory predation, but it is difficult to objectively compare the animals' senses. That being said, both bobcats and mountain lions have excellent eyesight and hearing. The difference is their sense of smell, and mountain lions simply don't have a good sense of smell. However, bobcats have a very keen sense of smell.

Bobcats have the upper hand in the senses.

Mountain Lion vs Bobcat: Physical Defense

The best physical defense is the one you don't have to use, and that's usually the case with cougars. These large and stealthy creatures are hard to spot, and even then, most other animals will actively avoid them because of the danger they pose. Bobcats are not that big, but they are surprisingly fast, and their terrifying screams and howls will scare away many potential enemies, including humans.

The Cougars have the advantage of having an easy, hard-hitting defense.

fighting skills

Cougars are very skilled hunters, combining strength and stealth.

©Christina Moraes/Shutterstock.com

The fighting skills of an animal are very important and are examined separately from the animal's physical characteristics. This way, we can determine which has better capabilities regardless of their size. See how these creatures kill their prey and fight off other animals.

Mountain Lions vs Bobcats: Offensive Capabilities

The bobcat is small and has a strong bite, plus it has sharp, retractable claws for climbing and fighting. Cougar is a one-trick pony, but it's a solid trick. The cougar prefers to use its very powerful bite and sharp teeth to break bones, and rarely uses its long claws to kill its prey.

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The Bobcats and Cougars are tied in offensive ability.

Mountain Lions and Bobcats: Predatory Behavior

Both mountain lions and bobcats use very similar methods to hunt and kill their enemies. They stalk the creature, then attack their prey with one bite, and kill it with several more bites. The only difference is that the mountain lion pounces, digs its prey in with its claws, wraps it up and brings it to the ground. At the same time, it can also deliver a fatal blow to the neck or back.

The mountain lion wins the fight because it immobilizes its prey and prevents damage to itself.

What are the main differences between mountain lions and bobcats?

Cougars are bigger, heavier and taller than bobcats, even though they are from the same family.

© AZ-Animals.com

Cougars are taller, longer, heavier and more dangerous than bobcats. Cougars weigh 130 pounds or more, but bobcats weigh only 33 pounds. Mountain lions are 3 feet tall, while bobcats are only 2 feet tall when standing. The bobcat is 5 mph faster than the cougar, but the cougar has a much stronger bite.

Another difference is their appearance. Mountain lions are similar in appearance to lionesses, only much smaller. Bobcats look similar to house cats, but they're not animals you want to pet.

Who would win in a battle between a mountain lion and a bobcat?

11 Incredible Mountain Lion Facts - Mountain Lion Cubs
The Cougars will win the battle against the Bobcats.

©Chris Desborough/Shutterstock.com

In a fight between a cougar and a bobcat, the cougar would win. Bobcats are known for hunting down predators larger than themselves, but cougars are simply too big and strong. The fight could end with one of the creatures stalking the other.

Even in the best of times when a bobcat uses its better scent to find a cougar and pounce on it, its bite isn't strong enough to kill it instantly, which is the only way a bobcat can kill a cougar.

Once the stealth part of the fight is over, it turns into a battle of size, strength, and speed. Bobcats might be able to move a bit faster, but not fast enough to avoid the giant cougar forever. Once the mountain lion's paws, claws or jaws catch the bobcat, the fight is over.

Could another animal take down mountain lions?

Although their skills and attacks are basically the same – the mighty mountain lion is far bigger and stronger than the lively bobcat. How do lions deal with larger, more ferocious predators with different skills? Can a Mountain Lion Beat a Bear in a Fight?

Bears are much bigger than cougars — weighing 700 pounds, compared to 130 pounds for lions. But is size the only factor? What about speed? Believe it or not – bears are actually faster than cougars – up to 35 mph. Mountain lions can run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, but their amazing agility is enough to make them top the list.

Both animals use their incredible bite force and sharp claws to take down prey with amazing success. However, their fighting styles are quite different. Like all cats, the cougar silently stalks its prey and waits with remarkable patience for the perfect moment to pounce. They entangle the animal with their strong front legs, grab the animal's neck with their sharp claws, and then bite its neck. Bears, on the other hand, will charge and subdue their prey before they die.

In a knocked down drag fight between a cougar and a bear, the bear will hold its ground and overwhelm the smaller lion within minutes. The mountain lions will definitely take some hits and bites – but the big bears will come out bloody, but on top. There is no competition.


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