Bobcats are a common wild cat found in various regions of North America. It can be challenging to recognize them if you are not familiar with their color patterns. In this post, we will explore the different colors that represent bobcats in the wilderness and discuss how they can use their colors to their advantage.
What Colors are Bobcats?
Bobcats can be recognized by their brown or red fur. On their stomachs, they have lighter fur colors and may have black-tipped ears. They are also known for having a black-tipped tail with a color pattern that aligns with the rest of their fur coat.
One of the really neat things about the color patterns that are usually found on the fur of bobcats is that they provide excellent camouflage. This allows bobcats to remain stealthy and hidden in situations where they may be at risk of being hunted by a predator.
It’s important to remember that bobcats will always use every tool in their toolkit to gain an edge in the wilderness to help them survive. This includes using their camouflage coat to their advantage.
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Bobcat Coat Colors
It’s very common for different subspecies of bobcats to have various color patterns. In many cases, bobcats can be identified with a dark brown or reddish fur coat. They will usually have white fur on their stomachs and they can have tails with black-tipped color patterns.
Bobcats can also have a grayish color pattern on their fur coat. This is slightly rarer because a majority of bobcats can be found with a brown or red coat. Most bobcats also have black tips on their ears. Their coats can have stripes or spots. The fur on their back is usually darker than on their sides. Source.
There have been some reports of individuals seeing black bobcats. These reports are extremely rare but there have been some cases reported over the years that have suggested that there might be some bobcats that have entirely black fur coats, which is a color mutation known as melanism.
Region Based Color Differences
Some bobcat subspecies have adapted to the region they currently reside in. For example, bobcats in colder temperatures will often have a vibrant coat when compared to a bobcat that lives in the desert. Their coat color can change based on their environment due to the adaptations that help them survive and prosper in the wilderness.
See our article for Bobcat Types
Are There Dark Colored Bobcats?
You may have heard the stories about witnesses coming across rare bobcats that are entirely black or semi-black. This is a natural phenomenon for bobcats that happens to many other creatures.
These all-black bobcats are believed to suffer from a condition known as melanism. By definition, this means that bobcats have produced too much melanin which results in an all-black coating of fur, or a partially melanistic coat. Places like Florida have had at least a dozen sightings of melanistic bobcats. Source.
Bobcats are not the only type of animal that can be vulnerable to melanism. Other animals like tigers, foxes, zebras, and even squirrels can suffer from melanism which results in the dark pigment of their fur. The condition can be extremely rare and it is believed that there may only be a few hundred cases in the entire bobcat population at any given time.
Can Bobcats Change Color?
Bobcats can change their fur color depending on the season. In fact, it’s quite common for most bobcats to change their fur color up to twice per year. Bobcats in the summer can develop vibrant red and brown fur while they may only develop white, gray, and light brown fur in the wintertime.
They have a dense coat and often change their striped colors every single year to adapt to new weather conditions for the upcoming season. Some bobcats can also develop fur coats that are vibrantly orange, red, or even yellow. Bobcats use their color to their advantage and many of them are capable of camouflaging in their environment to stay away from predators if they are nearby.
What Color Are Bobcat Eyes?
A majority of bobcats have yellow-tinted eyes with pupils that are dark brown or black. Some bobcats have green or blue eyes, but this is usually pretty rare. Their pupils are vertically shaped because they were originally nocturnal. As they adapted they became crepuscular, and the vertical pupils can see well in multiple types of light by contracting or restricting.
See our article for Nocturnal Bobcats
What Color Is A Bobcat Nose?
Bobcats usually have a nose color that is pink or light red with a dark background. It’s rare, but some bobcats have been spotted with black noses in the wilderness. Their noses can also be speckled with black spots. Mostly they are pink and red and look a lot like domestic cat noses.
What Color Is A Bobcat Tail?
Most bobcats have a black-tipped tail with a color pattern that is brownish or red. They have shorter tails than many other animals which prevents them from having the same level of balance when elevated on higher objects like tree branches.
The bobcat’s tail is around 5 inches long. Usually, the tail has a black tip or it is black stripped. This can make them easy to distinguish from other big cats because other cats have much longer tails. Sometimes bobcats may have an unusual pattern on their tails.
Bobcats can be found in the wilderness representing a wide collection of colors. They change colors a few times per year in many cases and have specific colors for many parts of their body. The information in this post covers many different bobcat subspecies to cover as many different color possibilities as possible.
It’s important to remember that there are exceptions to every rule and that mother nature could surprise the entire world by revealing a bobcat with new traits that don’t match the knowledge that we’ve come to expect when seeing bobcat colors.