Difference Between Bobcat and Cougar

Bobcat vs Cougar

Bobcat and cougar are two distinct carnivores living in the Americas, but there is a considerable difference between them in their natural geographical ranges. There are many additional differences between these two important cats including physical characteristics and behaviours. This article aims to emphasize the distinction between these two animals and it would be worthwhile to follow the presented information.


Bobcat, Lynx rufus, is a wildcat that naturally ranging in North America. They have a range of habitats including swamps, desert fringes, and forests. Bobcat is the smallest among all the Lynx species, as their bodyweight ranges from seven to eleven kilograms. They have a grey to brown colour coat of fur with the black spots or small rosettes distributed all over the body. Therefore, rosettes along with the coat colour, they can camouflage blend in the environment so that their prey animals would not easily spot them. Additionally, there are black colour bars on their forelimbs and the stubby tail ends with a black tip. Their coat gets lighter or more greyish as the inhabited habitat locates towards the dry and open areas, whereas it tends to be darker towards the colder and forested areas. There is only a little amount of hair under the neck and face in bobcats, compared to many other wildcats. Their ears have black colour short tufts, which is unique among many Lynx species. They are solitary animals feeding on a carnivorous diet, especially on certain selected prey species. As some studies have demonstrated, the decline of bobcat population has been due to their specialized feeding habits. These important wildcats live about six to eight years in wild.


Cougar, Puma concolor, aka Puma, is a native wildcat to South and North America and live in mountains more often than not. According to the geographical localities, there are six subspecies of cougars, and South America has five of those. Cougars are the fourth largest feline, and they possess a great agility with a slender body. Usually, males are slightly larger compared to females. They average around 75 centimetres of height and 275 centimetres of body length between the nose and base of the tail. They are stocky animals with a large body that weighs from 50 to 100 kilograms. When their body sizes are analysed against the habitats, cougars tend to be larger towards the temperate regions and smaller towards the equator. Some scientists describe this as an evolutionary plasticity, as the environment affects considerable changes within the same species. Colouration of cougars is simple with almost uniform distribution of the tawny gold colour coat, but the belly is whiter with some little darker patches. In addition, the coat could sometimes be either silvery-greyish or reddish without complex stripes. However, the cubs and the adolescents vary in their colouration with spots, as well. The interesting fact about cougar is that they are not true big cats, as they do not roar like lions, leopards, and jaguars; instead, cougars produce low-pitched hisses, purrs, growls, whistles, and chirps. The hind paw of cougars is the largest among all the felids.

What is the difference between Bobcat and Cougar?

• Bobcat is endemic to North America, while cougars are found in both North and South America.

• Cougars are exceptionally larger compared to bobcats.

• Cougars are uniformly coloured in tawny gold without spots except for their cubs, whereas bobcats are spotted or striped.

• The tail of bobcats is considerably shorter compared to cougars.

• The ears are wide-set and round shaped in cougars, while there are black colour tufts with a pointed appearance in bobcats.

• Bobcats have a series of bushy hairs on their cheeks, whereas cougars have a short fur coat all over their bodies.