Aside from the Florida panther, the bobcat is the only other feline specifies that can be found throughout Florida, according to the Coryi Foundation Inc., an organization that advocates wildlife education, conservation and research. Bobcats can be found throughout the United States, but there is an abundance of the four-legged mammals in every county of the Sunshine State. Because bobcats prefer habitats with deep forests, rural areas and swampy areas, Florida is home to most of the nation's bobcats.
Florida bobcats are typically brown or gray, and they are spotted with yellow or white undersides, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Bobcats were given their name because of their short "bobbed" tails, although bobcats have been known to have tails up to 18 inches. Bobcats are the size of small- to mid-sized dogs, weighing anywhere between 15 and 35 pounds and measuring about 3 feet long.
Compared to large meat-eating animals, bobcats are relatively small, and they do not need a large amount of land area to hunt prey, according to the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Bobcats typically stay within a 5- to 15-square-mile home range because hunted food is abundant. However, males tend to stray farther from home than females due to both breeding and territorial reasons.
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Bobcats only eat meat, such as cottontail rabbits, wood rats, Florida mice, raccoons, hogs and moles. These carnivores consume about 40 different animal species, and about 70 percent of bobcats' prey comprises of rabbits and rats, according to the Coryi Foundation, Inc. Because most of the animals bobcats eat are small, bobcats hunt a multitude of animals in order to be satisfied.
Florida bobcats breed anytime from August to March, and these felines start breeding when they are 1 year old,according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The gestational period for a bobcat is between 50 and 60 days, and a typical liter size is two or three kittens. Baby bobcats open their eyes when they are about 9 days old, and they are weaned when they are 2 months old.