Bonnie Hale witnessed a bobcat with a rabbit in its mouth emerging from bushes and entering a storm drain early one morning near a client’s home in Plano.As pet detective Based in Grapevine, Hale helps people across North Texas find their missing furry friends. What she didn’t realize until that morning, however, was that the bobcat understood that traveling through a rainwater drainage system could protect it from humans as it sneaked into the garden in search of prey.
Well done, Bobcats.
Bobcats have unintentionally terrorized North Texas residents for years as suburbs continue to encroach on North Texas territories. Stories of domestic dogs and feral cats being killed and eaten fill the media every year. Opinions differ on how often bobcats attack, but these wild animals are a very common concern for pet owners in the area. And the bobcat’s intelligence, as demonstrated in secret tunnels, makes it even more difficult to keep pets from bobcats.
Not only is their smarts helpful, but these carnivorous wild cats weigh between 11 and 30 pounds. national geographic. They are 26 to 41 inches tall and have a tail length of 4 to 7 inches. To put this into perspective, a bobcat can be roughly twice the size of an average domestic cat.
So what can you do to protect your beloved pets from these incredible predators? Here are some bobcat facts and tips from Hale.
“Actually, most people think, ‘Oh, [my pet has] Been out for years. It won’t happen. ’ Until then,” says Hale. “All warnings in the world [and] All the technology I’ve never seen saves so many pet lives. Because people don’t act until something bad happens, and by then it’s too late. ”
Do Bobcats Attack Dogs?
yes. Bobcats can attack dogs, but dogs weighing less than 30 pounds hers are most at risk. The best way to protect small dogs and pets from bobcat attacks is to be with them. So if your dog wants to go potty in the yard, go with him.Bonnie Hale pet detective Based in Grapevine, we offer the following additional advice:
H.Are bobcat attacks common in North Texas?
“It’s very common,” Hale says. “It’s really a year-round problem.”
However, Hale notes that bobcat predation spikes during calving and breeding seasons. Nationwide, bobcat cubs can be born anywhere from March to July, according to the report. Wildlife damage management.
Of course, bobcats don’t come into your yard just for pets. They come looking for prey such as rabbits, mice and snakes, Hale said. But as they become more comfortable hunting near humans, they often come across our pets.
Throughout her career, Hale has seen hundreds of incidents of bobcats killing people’s pets.
What size pets are most at risk?
this is no It’s a good idea to fatten up your pet so it can compete with the bobcat. But the bigger the pet, the safer it is. Hale said the most at-risk size pets are those weighing less than 30 pounds, especially those weighing less than 20 pounds.
If you only have large dogs, you don’t need to worry. A bobcat can do it, Technically It has yet to attack and seriously injure an animal weighing over 30 pounds, but probably not.
“There are too many size differences,” Hale says. “They want food, not fighting.”
Your lovable Golden Retriever may not look as combat-capable, but will fight back when confronted by a bobcat. And the bobcat can’t afford to fight. Unlike injured pets that we take to the vet for antibiotic injections and treatment, bobcats are solitary and can easily die from infected wounds.
How can I prevent bobcat attacks?
As The Jackson 5 once said, “I am there.” And that’s what you can actually do to protect your small dog from bobcats.
“The best thing you can do is stay with your pet,” says Hale. “[Bobcat attacks] It rarely happens when humans are present. ”
Hale’s advice is that if you have a small dog, you should go outside with him for potty breaks. This advice applies primarily at night, when bobcats are most active. Some scientists believe that bobcats are nocturnal (most active at night), while others consider them crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk). Either way, when it gets dark outside, the bobcat may be out too.
When it comes to protecting indoor and outdoor cats, Hale says there’s been a surge in previously successful indoor and outdoor cats being suddenly killed by bobcats around the age of 10 or 12. Cats age just like humans. And as we age, our agility, hearing, and vision decline, as does reaction speed.
Hale ran into this problem with his cat. When she got her cat big, she started letting her inside her house at night instead of letting her run around outside. In true cat fashion, wonderful I’m hungry. Naturally, Hale had to come up with a compromise to keep her cat from wrecking the house overnight during the protests.
So, if your older cat still needs to spend time outdoors, make sure you do so only during the day. If you have to spend the night outdoors, give them a good hiding place. Hale says there’s been a spike in cases of previously successful indoor and outdoor cats being suddenly killed by bobcats as they try to remove scrap cars, storage sheds and decks in their yards to create the perfect cat hideout.
“With a cat, it can get to safety in the blink of an eye,” says Hale. “But someone will come along and suddenly decide, ‘Okay, let’s get rid of all this crap.’ And now the cat has nowhere to hide.”
You can DIY what Hale calls a “cat bunker” out of concrete blocks. Hale says it takes about 10 concrete blocks to make an opening big enough to stick a fist into and the cat can hide inside.
One way to prevent bobcats, which applies to both dogs and cats, is to keep your pet in a fenced yard. Bobcats can climb fences of any height, but “the higher the fence, the better defense they have,” Hale says. They’d rather jump over the lower fence and see what’s inside first to make sure it’s safe.
Hale says another way to keep bobcats, which make up a large part of their diet, is to keep rats out of your home, along with installing fences. And if you have a large dog in addition to a small dog or cat, it’s a protection in itself. Its size usually frightens bobcats.
What should I do if I see a bobcat attacking my pet?
Hale stresses that the decision to intervene should be personal. Only you can ultimately decide whether to risk injury to save your pet. It’s hard to know what people would do if they were in a dangerous situation. You might be tempted to intervene quickly, but the fight-or-flight reaction can freeze you up. One option is to start screaming and running in the bobcat’s direction, banging pots, or honking its horn. She says she just does whatever it takes to make as much noise as possible to scare it away.
Hale witnessed pets being able to withstand bobcat attacks if their owners intervened quickly enough. Injuries usually require veterinary care, but some individuals survive with only human intervention.
If you are bitten or injured by a bobcat, it’s important not only to take your pet to the veterinarian, but to take yourself to the hospital to avoid infection. Bobcats are wild animals, so be careful and take care of them. When in doubt, stay with your pet.
Curious about what other animals to see in Collin County and Northern Texas? Click here for a list of the 5 most dangerous creatures.
This article was originally published on May 5, 2021.