What Does A Bobcat Sound Like? | With Examples


Creatures in the wild have always carried a little bit of mystery around with them. It’s rare to get a glimpse into that world. You may have been wondering, what does a bobcat sound like?  We are going to answer all of your questions on that and provide you with in-depth answers about the types of sounds that a bobcat makes when it is out in the wilderness.

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Bobcats are known for making several different types of sounds in different situations. Most commonly, you might hear a bobcat meowing or growling. In some situations, you might also hear them hiss, howl, squall, or scream. Bobcats are extremely stealthy when hunting and sometimes they make no sounds at all when trying to remain hidden from other animals in the wilderness.

It might be easy to mix up a bobcat and a domestic cat because they do sound very similar. They have the same pitch when making a sound and that might confuse their ‘meow’ with the sound of another nearby cat. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at what each of these sounds means and take a look at some of the other details. 

Bobcat Sounds and What They Mean

You most commonly would likely hear a bobcat meowing out in the wilderness. This is common and probably won’t cause you any alarm if you hear it. In some cases, you might hear a bobcat screaming or howling. This is fairly common during their mating season although it’s likely that you might find it difficult to ignore that awkward noise. 

Bobcats can also hiss, scream, yelp, or even bark when they are believed to be in danger from a nearby predator. This is sort of like a call for help because it can alert nearby animals that a predator is approaching. There are some other reasons that bobcats also make these sounds but most of the time they hunt by remaining stealthy and therefore they try to remain as quiet as possible and are rarely heard by people. Source.

It is generally extremely rare to come across bobcats in the wilderness, so it might surprise you to see or hear a bobcat in your region. Many people actually come fairly close to bobcats without even knowing it because bobcats are so capable of remaining stealthy and hidden. 

Examples of bobcat sounds.

Bobcat Hunting Sounds 

When on an offensive hunt, bobcats are capable of remaining extremely quiet. They have the ability to move stealthily and they generally hunt in dark conditions around sunset or sunrise. Sometimes they are seen roaming around in the middle of the night, but they don’t usually make sounds at this time of the night. 

If bobcats are being hunted and they can sense a predator approaching, they might start calling for help by growling, hissing, screaming, or howling. They try to make sounds that could deter the predator from continuing its hunt and sometimes their sounds can scare off predators or distract predators for a short period of time. 

Bobcats are extremely intelligent and they know when they are in danger. They will make noises and take actions that they believe are in their best interest for survival. These are instinctive tactics that allow them to survive in dangerous conditions with other predators around in the nearby wilderness. 

Bobcat Mating Sounds

Bobcats can make very specific sounds during their mating season. These sounds can include snarls, hisses, squalls, and screams. Male bobcats can make slightly more aggressive sounds as they battle for territory over a specific female bobcat. 

It is believed that bobcats are at their loudest during this time of year. Their breeding season generally occurs at the beginning of the year in January and stays in effect until around May. This is the period of time where you are most likely to hear bobcats making these sounds out in the wilderness. 

See our article for Bobcats Mating Season

Are Bobcats Loud In The Wilderness?

Now that you are completely aware of all of the different types of sounds that a bobcat might make in the wilderness, you’re probably wondering if they are loud or quiet. The answer is that bobcats can be fairly loud during certain seasons of the year and you might hear any of these mentioned sounds throughout their breeding season in the first quarter of the year. 

It’s important to be aware of the sounds the bobcats make if you do come across one. Understanding the significance of these sounds can help you to understand if the bobcat is in distress. It’s never a good idea to approach a bobcat that may be growling, screaming, or hissing in your direction. It’s extremely important to take safety precautions because bobcats can be dangerous if they feel like they are being attacked or in danger. 

See our article for Are Bobcats Dangerous?

Why Do Bobcats Scream in the Night?

Bobcats mostly hunt in the night and this is when they are most active. Bobcats have nocturnal habits even though they are more crepuscular than nocturnal these days. This is one of the reasons people hardly see or hear a bobcat during the day. You are more likely to hear a bobcat scream if you are walking around the wilderness after dark or during twilight hours.

Bobcat mating usually happens during the night as well. You will most definitely hear bobcats screaming loud and making noise at night during this season because the males fight over the females. Source.

See our article for Are Bobcats Nocturnal?

Learn more about bobcats here


Now that you have a general understanding of all of the types of sounds that bobcats can make, you should have all of the information that is necessary in order to protect yourself from them if you ever happen to have a standoff with a bobcat.

These sounds should not be mistaken with other types of animals in the wilderness.  Bobcats have a very unique vocalization of the types of sounds that they make. If you hear a bobcat nearby, it’s not always a great idea to interfere unless you can guarantee that it is safe to do so. 

By understanding the different types of bobcat sounds, you will have a better understanding if a bobcat is in the process of hunting, being hunted, or breeding during certain times of the year.  

Chad Fox

Chad Fox is an outdoorsman who loves spending time in nature, working on ranches in Texas, and observing wildlife.

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