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Many ecological studies show that predatory wildlife, including bobcats, exists to preserve the balance of nature. Wild animals help to keep rodent populations in check. In the past, some cities have attempted to eradicate predators, but as a result have seen an increase in rodent population, as well as rodent-borne diseases.
The ways of nature can sometimes seem cruel to us, but many prey and rodent species would overrun both rural and urban areas, damaging crops and vegetation, if their natural predators did not keep them in check. Bobcats and other predators also consume carrion (dead animals), and so provide us with free waste removal services.
Bobcats eat a variety of animal species, including mice, rats, squirrels, chickens, small fawns, wild birds, feral cats, cottontail and rabbits. It’s very unlikely, but possible, that free-roaming cats or small dogs left outside unattended might be taken as well.
Many people accidentally and unknowingly encourage bobcats and other wild animals to live near their homes by leaving pet food outside, failing to pick up fallen fruit from trees, leaving pets to roam outdoors unattended, leaving bird seed on the ground, and leaving wood piles or dense vegetation to provide hiding places for wildlife. Most urban wildlife is “opportunistic” and “omnivorous,” meaning the animals will eat about anything (animal or vegetable matter), and will take the food that is easiest to get. If pet food is left outside, or even in a garage with a pet door entrance, wild animals may find it easier to help themselves to pet food every night than to hunt down rodents.
There are many reasons why trapping and removal is not a long-term, viable solution. Find more information about why it isn't the best solution on our Trapping and Removing Bobcats page.
No it is not. For more information about why it isn't ok visit our Putting Food Out for Wildlife page.
Visit our How to Discourage Bobcats from Your Yard page for information on how to keep bobcats out of your yard.