Bobcat Vs Lynx | Know The Difference

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Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are wild cats that fall into the Lynx genus. They are the smallest of the Lynx cats and their looks differ from the Canadian Lynx (Lynx canadensis) and the European Lynx (Lynx, lynx.)

Bobcat Vs Lynx

Both the bobcat and the Lynx, have many similarities. Such as their dark banding and spots. However, they also have some key differences, such as the tufts on the ears, the black tips on their tails, and their sizes. Bobcats are smaller than the Eurasian Lynx.

It can be very hard to tell these two apart with just a photograph. Because one of the main differences is size, you have to rely on other cues that make it easier to identify them and tell them apart.

In this guide, we’re going to explain the similarities and differences, so you can properly identify them. These cats live in Europe, Asia, and North America. They thrive in forest regions and have many things in common.

Is There a Difference Between a Bobcat and a Lynx?

There is a difference in species between a bobcat and a Lynx. The bobcat is a species of Lynx, where the Eurasian Lynx is the main species of the genus. Here are some more key differences.

Bobcat DifferencesLynx Differences
Bobcats are smaller than the Canadian Lynx and the Eurasian Lynx.The Lynx has larger back legs and is slightly larger than a bobcat.
Bobcats only live in North America, where they thrive in forest regions.Lynx species such as the Eurasian Lynx and Canadian Lynx can be found on multiple continents.
Bobcats can have slightly different colors on the tips of their tails and under the tail area.The Lynx has an easy-to-recognize black tag on the end of its tail that makes it easy to differentiate from bobcats.
Bobcats live in forest regions that sometimes overlap with regions that are cold and that have snow.The Eurasian and Canadian Lynx lives further north, mostly in regions with heavy snow.
Bobcat vs Lynx differences – Chart.

These are just some of the key differences. Let’s take a closer look at them so we can identify the two, side by side.

Bobcat Vs Lynx Tail

The tail is probably going to be your best bet for identifying a bobcat vs a Lynx. These two look very similar, however, the tail has multiple differences that will help tell them apart.

The bobcat’s tail has banding and spots, but the banding is only visible on the top side. Underneath the tail, the fur is a yellow, gray, or white color. The Lynx tail does not have as much of the banding and spots, those that it does have are not as detailed.

See our article for Bobcat Tails here.

Bobcat Vs Lynx Ears

Lynx species are known for having large ears that have tufts of fur on their points. This helps make the Canadian Lynx and the Eurasian Lynx easy to identify. However, this is where it becomes hard to tell if the wild cat is a Lynx or a bobcat by ears alone.

The main Lynx species, tend to have larger tufts that are black. Bobcats have smaller black tufts on their ears. To see the animals side by side, you may be able to tell from the ears and the size of the cat, which is which.

If you look for all of these differences, then you will be able to have a better idea of how to identify them. Below we have pictures of bobcats and Lynxs, so you can get a better idea of how they look.

Lynx Vs Bobcat Photos

Here are a few photo examples to help you see the differences and similarities between bobcats and the Lynx. One of the hardest things with photos is the size of the animal. Without seeing them side by side, in the same photo, you will have trouble using size to identify them. Instead, use all of the cues listed in this article.

Some wild animals are hard to photograph, because of the locations where they live, the weather conditions, and more. Luckily there are many photos of both the bobcat and the Lynx.

Lynx – Example.
Bobcat – Example.

Candian Lynx Vs Bobcat

Both of these animals live in North America and in some regions, their territory might even overlap. The bobcat lives mostly in the United States, down to Mexico. The Canadian Lynx occupies the northern areas of the continent, where weather conditions are much worse.

The Canadian Lynx is bigger than the bobcat. This is one way to tell the two apart. The Canadian Lynx has larger back legs and larger paws. The bobcat is smaller, but they still pack a punch when it comes to preying on live animals.

Both of these wild cats are impressive hunters. They are also very territorial. If the Canadian Lynx and the bobcat squared up to fight, the Canadian Lynx would have the size advantage over the bobcat.

Bobcat Vs Lynx Weight

One of the biggest differences between these wild cats is their size and weight. The bobcat is smaller in size and weight than the Lynx.

How much does a bobcat weigh? Bobcats weigh around 8.8 – 40 lbs. Females tend to weigh slightly less than males. The average weight of a bobcat is around 20 pounds.

How much does a Lynx weigh? The Eurasian Lynx weighs around 40 – 66 lbs. This is considerably more than the bobcat. The Canadian Lynx weighs around 25 pounds on average.

Lynx Compared to a House Cat

Now let’s compare the size of a Lynx with the size of a house cat. Bobcats are about double the size of a house cat. However, the Eurasian Linx is 4 – 5 times the size of a house cat. The average house cat weighs 7 – 10 pounds. However, they can be as large as 20-30 lbs if they are overweight.

The Lynx can weigh as much as 60+ lbs. The difference is, a big domestic cat is just overweight, while a large Lynx is a lean mean hunting machine. If a large house cat and a Lynx were to fight over territory, the Lynx would win, hands down.

Can a Bobcat and a Lynx Mate Together?

There is the possibility that a bobcat and a Lynx could mate together to create a hybrid. This is true for the Candian Lynx and Eurasian Lynx. However, hybrid cats are usually infertile, and cannot produce offspring.

It is believed that the Candian Lynx and the bobcat can create a hybrid that can produce offspring, however, I have seen no scientific evidence of this, and hybrids of this type are extremely hard to identify because of their similar traits. Source.

Bobcat Vs Lynx Similarities

You’ve heard all of the differences, now let’s talk about the similarities. Bobcats have the most in common with the Canadian Lynx. Both of these animals live on the same continent and their territories can overlap.

Bobcats and the Canadian Lynx are the two smallest Lynx species. Although the Canadian Lynx is slightly bigger than a bobcat, both of these cats are smaller than the other Lynx species, such as the Eurasian Lynx and the Spanish Lynx.

Both of these cats have tufted ears. While both of these wild cats have tufted ears, the Canadian Lynx has longer tufts and is a darker color. It can be hard to tell these two apart based on their ears.

Bobcats and the Canadian Lynx can both have banding and spots. The bobcat tends to have more of the banding and spots, and in some cases, this can make them easier to identify.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Lynx prey on the bobcat?

In rare cases, a Lynx could kill and eat a bobcat. This would only be out of starvation, or because the two of them fought over territory, and the winner would eat the other.

Who would win in a fight the bobcat or the Lynx?

If these two wild cats were to fight over territory or food, the winner would most likely be the Canadian Lynx, because it has a size advantage over the bobcat. However, some large bobcats can be the same size or larger than a small Lynx.

Do bobcats and the Canadian Lynx live together?

The territory of these two cats could overlap, however, they would not live in the same home range. They would fight over the food sources and territory.

Does a bobcat live longer than a Lynx?

All of the Lynx species live around the same time in the wild. This is around 7 – 12 years. They can live much longer in captivity. How long they live depends on conditions such as food sources, predation, and weather.

Chad Fox