Home to various mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, Connecticut “connects” various lifeforms to their habitats. This is because of the availability of distinct landscapes in the state where each of these faunas can set up their home.
While there are no big cat species like lions, tigers, leopards, or cheetahs in Connecticut, the state does host Bobcats. As they are a top predator in the state’s ecosystem, it is important that we know the key details about them.
Below I’ve explained all the things you need to know about the bobcats in Connecticut.
Are There Bobcats in Connecticut?
Yes, there are bobcats in Connecticut. As forest cover in the state has increased to 60% in the last 2 decades, bobcats are being regularly spotted across Connecticut. These wild cats are medium-sized and primarily feed on small animals like rabbits, squirrels, and mice. Bobcats are also agile and adaptive which helps them thrive in a variety of landscapes.
As bobcats are elusive and avoid human contact, you may often miss them in the wild. However, these cats sometimes do venture into residential areas in the state in search of food.
Is It Rare to See a Bobcat in Connecticut?
No, it is not rare to see a bobcat in Connecticut currently. However, this wasn’t the case for about 50 yrs. ago.
Historically, bobcats were widely present throughout North America including the state of Connecticut. However, due to the loss of habitat and extensive hunting, these wild cats were driven to the brink of extinction in the early 1900s. To conserve the remaining population, Bobcats were classified as protected. Since then, their population has gradually increased.
In fact, bobcat sightings have drastically increased in recent years which indicates a healthy population. Although bobcats are shy, they sometimes visit residential areas in suburbs in search of food. However, you may not spot them in cities due to the dense human population.
How Big Is a Connecticut Bobcat?
It is worthwhile to note that a bobcat’s size like that of any wild animal depends on the availability of food, type of habitat, and time of the year and varies between individuals. However, Bobcats in Connecticut have physical traits similar to bobcats found in other states.
These wildcats weigh between 15 to 35 pounds on average with males weighing more than females. In terms of length and height, adult bobcats typically measure between 2 to 3 feet long from nose to tail and stand at 1 to 2 feet at the shoulder.
While bobcats generally prey on small mammals, their compact and muscular build allows them to also hunt bigger animals like deer.
Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In US
Are Bobcats Aggressive in Connecticut?
Bobcats are elusive and avoid contact with humans as much as possible. Due to their solitary and shy nature, they are not considered aggressive towards humans.
However, like any wild animal, bobcats will become defensive and aggressive when they feel cornered or threatened. Also, as per the Department of Energy and Environment Protection’s recent study in 2017, bobcats are now choosing to live close to human development.
Therefore, it’s important to be cautious and respect bobcats if we encounter them in the wild or city to avoid conflicts.
Can You Kill a Bobcat in Connecticut?
No, you cannot kill a bobcat in Connecticut. To regulate and control the hunting of bobcats in the past, wild cats were categorized as classified in Connecticut.
While the wild cat’s population has gradually increased to 1500 in Connecticut, Bobcats are still classified as protected. Therefore, it is illegal to kill a bobcat in Connecticut without a valid permit from a Connecticut wildlife agency.
The only exception to this is when a person is threatened by a bobcat. In this case, these agile creatures can be killed as an act of self-defense.
Also, it’s important to note that, any killings of wild bobcats shall be immediately reported to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment Protection to support them track the bobcat population in the state.
Can You Own a Bobcat in Connecticut?
No, you cannot own a bobcat in Connecticut. Due to their status as a protected species in Connecticut, it is prohibited to possess a bobcat in the state without a valid permit or license.
While you may apply for these permits to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment Protection, it’s difficult to obtain them due to their complex and strict requirements. In general, ownership permits are issued to wildlife sanctuaries, and zoos for educational purposes.
Legal issues aside, it is dangerous to own bobcats. Being wild animals, these felines have special needs which cannot be fulfilled in a domestic setting.
From extensive space to constant monitoring, bobcats are not feasible to be household pets. Also, if they aren’t managed properly, they may turn into a public safety risk.
Therefore, before taking the decision to own a bobcat, go through the legalities involved and the ethical consideration associated with bobcat ownership.
What To Do If You See a Bobcat in Connecticut?
Although most often than not you may not see a bobcat in the wild, it is important to know what to do when you do see them.
Bobcats may be solitary, shy, and elusive but remember, they are wild creatures and have the potential to be dangerous.
Most of the time conflicts with Bobcats arise due to food. As forests have contracted and cities have expanded into forests, bobcats and humans often cross each other much more than they did in the past.
Sometimes, these wild creatures also prey on domestic pets and pet food. Therefore, to avoid encounters with bobcats always secure trash cans and other potential food sources, keep the pets indoors, and do not feed them.
And if you have sighted one, observe them from a distance, do not approach them, and give them space to move away.
While the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) advises that these wild cats are rarely a threat, it is important to be cautious and respectful. However, if you encounter a killed or injured Bobcat, inform the wildlife agency immediately.
Also Check Our Guide On Bobcats In Arizona
And that was everything you need to know about the Bobcats in Connecticut. I hope this article was informative and your queries were answered.
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Founder Of This Website
I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.