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Bobcat spotted

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello all feral cat colony managers - question for you.

I maintain and am working on spaying/neutering a colon of
ferals. (soon getting the 3 kittens and mama
done I hope, prayers and vibes for trapping please!!)

The place they live is under a work shed, and a gazebo
at a hotel w/ kitchen dumpster and large parking lot. Its off
a major highway and backs to a school and some rapidly developing
land/housing area. Behind the large housing area is a park that
borders the river.

One August night I was out a little later than usual (I try
for 9:00 pm feeding, and got there about 11 pm) and I
saw a very unusually large cat. Well, when it looked at
me - I later discovered it was a BOBCAT! Gasp. Imagine
my surprise - this is not a rural area!! Lots of traffic etc.

So up shot, am now worried (it looked like a bobcat 1/2 grown kitten
and BTW let me get w/ in 10 ft of it, so it WAS NOT scared of me!)
that a) it will eat the feral cats there and b) there may be more.
OR c) is an orphaned bobcat kitten, and has been attracted by
the food sources (mine) I put out for cats.

Sometimes I can't get to the colony every day (far from home)
and I need to leave dry food out. Sometimes when I do go,
I leave the wet and don't see the cats come out... Soo...

What to do? I am wanting to put in a sturdily constructed cat shelter
(hawkswill wood working makes nice ones) with 2 exits sized for cats
near the hole to the shed's foundation (where is where they seem
to be denning). I want the shelter to be sturdy so that the bobcat
can't get in it.

Any advice for me? (I can't place the shelters where they'd be
seen easily, and this bobcat kitten/cat was right out by the
gazebo in the parking lot!! Brazenly.

I have not seen it again since, so was hopeful it had moved on back to
park land area some miles from the housing and the hotel/major road.

But just in case, I am now more leary of leaving food out, and am
going earlier in the evenings (when still day light about 6 pm.) I see
the cats more that way, or at least the cuties (kittens..)
post #2 of 3
Is there anyway you can take them in after trapping and socialize them? This doesn't seem to be a good area for them. Hopefully the bobcat was just passing by. Young males does that when they have to leave mamas territory but this one seem to be a little young though.
It is good if you can trap them as soon as possible but I wouldn't leave a trap there unattended with a bobcat around - which will mean a lot of waiting. It can go fast though since they are used to you.
Can you get close to the kittens? You need to take the kittens first. If you trap the mama she will be difficult or impossible to trap again and the kittens has no chance without mama around.
How old are the kittens?
I picked up three kittens about six weeks old without trapping them and even though they were small I was badly bitten. It was all worth it thoug and a lot easier to trap the mama with the kittens as bait.
I have lost a cat to a bobcat - or the Swedish version closer to the canadian lynx. It was just fur left of my cat. A kitten is just a bite even for a young bobcat.

Good luck with the trapping.
post #3 of 3
Even if the bobcat didn't eat the cats, they are at risk of bobcat-tick disease. Both of my father's cats fell victim to this disease and both passed quickly. There is virtually no chance of survival. Depending on where you are the disease can be pretty common. Basically, if a tick from an infected bobcat gets onto your cats, they're gone. I agree with the above post, get them trapped, spayed and relocated.
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