As Mesquite continues to grow, reports of bobcats living in the city have increased. The following information is provided to help residents understand and co-exist with bobcats. If you see a bobcat that is sick, injured, or acting aggressively, dial 911 immediately. Otherwise, if you know of a bobcat living in your neighborhood, please report it by clicking here or calling Mesquite Animal Services at 972-216-6283.
Bobcats typically weigh between fifteen and forty pounds, and are common across the entire United States. Although this cat is rarely seen in cities because of its shy, solitary, and reclusive nature, the urban population has been increasing in the DFW Metroplex for many years.
Distinguishing features include tufted, pointed ears with large, black spots on the backsides; a short, bobbed tail (4-6 inches in length); and rear legs which are disproportionately longer than front legs.
Many people accidentally and unknowingly encourage bobcats and other wild animals to live near their homes by leaving pet food outside, failing to pick up fallen fruit from trees, leaving pets to roam outdoors unattended, leaving bird seed on the ground, and leaving wood piles or dense vegetation to provide hiding places for wildlife. Most urban wildlife are “opportunistic” and “omnivorous,” meaning the animals will eat about anything (animal or vegetable matter), and will take the food that is easiest to get.
Bobcats eat a variety of animal species, including mice, rats, squirrels, small fawns, wild birds, cottontails and rabbits. It’s very unlikely, but possible, that free-roaming cats or small dogs left outside unattended can be an attractive option for not only bobcats, but any wildlife predator.
- Avoid walking through dense undergrowth where bobcats may be encountered. This is especially true in the spring when bobcats may be protective of their litters.
- If you see a bobcat, do not approach. Return the way you came or detour the area. Do not corner the animal.
- Keep pets confined to securely fenced areas. Walk dogs on leash and keep cats indoors.
- Do not leave pets unattended outdoors.
- In many cases, if bobcats are seen from a safe distance, you may be able to wait until they have left the area of their own accord before proceeding.
- Fences in good condition discourage wildlife from foraging on private property. Also, eliminate thick undergrowth in landscaped areas.