Where Do Bobcats Sleep?


where-do-bobcats-sleep

Bobcats are solitary animals that thrive in the wild. Each bobcat has its own territory, and male and female bobcats sleep separately from one another in their dens. Once the male mates, he moves on, while the female has the kittens alone in her den.

Where Do Bobcats Sleep?

Land of the Bobcats Full Documentary
Land of the Bobcats Full Documentary

Bobcats sleep in their den. They may have multiple dens in their home range but they have one main den that they call home.  Bobcats only sleep 2 – 3 hours at a time and while they are thought of as strictly nocturnal they have adapted to be crepuscular.

Big cats are fascinating animals, and although bobcats are one of the smallest of them, they still thrive in the wild. While not a lot of research has been done on their habits in the wild, we do know that bobcats spend a lot of their time sleeping and hunting.

When do Bobcats Sleep?

We, humans, have a diurnal sleeping pattern. Which means we stay awake during the daylight hours and fall asleep at night. Bobcats on the other hand are generally considered nocturnal. They can also be considered bimodal, one of the benefits of being a very adaptable animal.

For different reasons, at different times of the year, bobcats can be more crepuscular than nocturnal. Many animals in the wild, who start out as nocturnal (the proof of which can be found in their night vision) will adapt with crepuscular behavior. This is similar in a way to some humans, who sometimes work at night and sleep during the day for their job or another reason, but they are still considered diurnal.

Bobcat sleeping patterns can also be closely associated with hunting behavior. If the food source in their area is most active during twilight hours, or in the day, then you may see that in this local area, the bobcats are more active in those hours. An Example of this can be found with most birds who are diurnal and rabbits, that are crepuscular, both of which are food sources for bobcats.

bobcat-sleeping
Bobcat sleeping – Example.

What is a Normal Sleeping Breathing Rate for Felines?

The resting and breathing rate of an animal can tell you a lot about how they sleep. With wild animals, getting enough data to accurately measure something like breathing rate can be hard.

However, we know that most felines have a breathing/resting rate of about 30 breaths per minute. While having up to 40 breaths per minute is normal for full-grown cats, it is not normal for kittens. If a bobcat kitten has a breathing rate over 30, there is a chance that they could be having early heart problems. Source.

Where Do Bobcats Sleep During the Day?

Bobcats generally sleep during the day in their dens and are most active at night, which is when they prefer to hunt. They will have one main den but will also have others they use along their regular hunting path within their territory.

Because bobcats have been known to have crepuscular behavior, they may also be active in the twilight and daylight hours. They will hunt when their prey is most active.

How Long Do Bobcats Sleep?

Bobcats tend to only sleep for two to three hours at a time. They will hunt for their prey for a long period, eat, and then sleep for a short while. Bobcat sleeping habits include waking up for grooming, leaving to hunt if the prey is active, looking for new dens in their home range, with small naps in between as seen in the video below.

Where Does a Bobcat Sleep at Night?

Bobcats are usually busy hunting and feeding at night, although they will sleep after their feeding with a “cat nap” before they go back on the hunt in the morning hours just before dawn. The hunting behavior of big cats can change as the food source changes.

Since bobcats only sleep for a few hours at a time, they are known for taking many catnaps, during the day and night. When they do sleep at night, they do it in their dens, where they are safe from predation and territorial disputes with other large cats.

Where do Bobcats Make Their Dens?

Bobcats prefer to make their dens in caves, hollowed-out trees, and under rocky outcrops. They have one main den that is called their “natal den” but may have several others throughout their territory using clumped brush and thickets, hollow logs, boulder piles, and crevices in canyon walls.

Female bobcats reduce their home range size after giving birth and stick mainly to their natal den regaining their original home range size during kitten dispersal.

See our article for Bobcat Dens here.

Do Male and Female Bobcats Sleep Together?

No, male and female bobcats do not sleep in the same den together. Bobcats are solitary animals. Males are called Toms, and females, are called Queens. They each have their own territory and their own den. This is very different from many other animals in the wild, that share their dens with their mates.

Bobcats are not monogamous, and a female can mate more than once a year, with more than one Tom. After mating with the female, the bobcat Tom will go on to mate with other females as well.

“Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it.”

– Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Learn more about bobcats here

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do bobcats hunt at night?

Bobcats were originally completely nocturnal, they have night vision and swiftness that allows them to have an advantage over the animals that they prey on.

Where do bobcats hunt at night?

Bobcats hunt in their home range and are territorial. They have multiple dens in their home range and will go from den to den, looking for prey, and napping in between. They hunt in open fields and areas where they can get a vantage point.

Are bobcats diurnal?

No, bobcats are not diurnal. They are nocturnal and crepuscular. However, you may still see a bobcat out in the daytime, if their main food source is also active in daylight hours.

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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