24 States Where Bobcats Are Common

brown bobcat
Photo by Luismi Sánchez on Unsplash

Bobcats are cool animals that have become a strong symbol of wildlife in North America. They were almost gone forever, but now there are a lot more of them since the 1970s. People have helped by managing wildlife and changing hunting rules. Here are the states where bobcats are common.


brown and black cat on green grass field during daytime
Photo by Lori Ayre on Unsplash

Bobcats are the only wildcats you’ll find in Virginia. They like living in the forests and mountains. People used to hunt them a lot for their fur, but now there are rules to keep them safe. Bobcats help make Virginia’s wildlife diverse by eating some animals and being food for others. They’re super good at fitting in, and you might even see them in neighborhoods near where they live in the wild.


a close up of a cat laying on the ground
Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

In Florida, bobcats are just as common as alligators. There are estimated to be between 700,000 and 1 million of them—and you can find them in every county, from the swampy Everglades to the outskirts of big cities. Florida’s bobcats have a unique look with shorter fur and colors that help them handle the hot weather. They’ve always been essential for keeping the ecosystem balanced by small animals. 


cheetah laying on stone
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In Illinois, bobcats are making a comeback—especially in the southern and central areas with many big forests. These animals almost disappeared because folks hunted them a lot, and their homes were taken away. But now (thanks to strict rules to protect them), there are at least 5,000 bobcats in the state. They help farmers by eating small animals that can harm crops.


brown and black cat on black tree branch
Photo by Michael “Tiny” Alcorn (tinyonstage) on Unsplash

In Montana, bobcats help keep the local wildlife in balance. They eat small animals and birds, which helps the ecosystem. Montana’s big forests and wide prairies are perfect homes for these tough cats, and there are more than 6,000 of them in the state. Folks in Montana also love bobcats—they’re part of the stories and traditions, and enjoy watching them in the wild.


a leopard on a log
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In Arizona, you’re likely to spot bobcats more often nowadays. These cats are used to Arizona’s hot weather and have lighter fur than those up north. It helps them blend in and stay cool. About 30,000 bobcats live in Arizona—roaming around the desert, mountains, and even cities. People used to hunt them a lot, but now they’re admired for how pretty they are and how well they can adapt to different places.

South Carolina

brown and black cat in cage
Photo by Süheyl Burak on Unsplash

In South Carolina, bobcats are everywhere—especially in the thick forests and swampy areas. Folks used to trade their fur, but now the state works hard to protect them. Bobcats in South Carolina help keep the balance of nature by controlling the number of animals they eat. They’re the only wild cats left in the area now.

North Carolina

Brown and Black Cat on the Ground
Photo by Hanna on Pexels

In North Carolina, bobcats are everywhere, from the coast to the mountains—making the state their playground for centuries. They’re like the ultimate survivors, adapting to every corner of North Carolina’s diverse landscapes. Folks are on a mission to balance the bobcat population with human development, especially in the suburbs where they meet. With around 125,000 bobcats prowling around, they’re keeping rodent populations in check across the state.

West Virginia

Lynx Lying on a Rock in the Zoo Enclosure
Photo by Kevin B on Pexels

In West Virginia, you can often see bobcats in the Appalachian Mountains. Their numbers have stayed steady because folks are careful about how many they hunt. These cats have been around in West Virginia for a long time, and in the past—people hunted them a lot for their fur. But now we know they’re important for keeping other animals in check. 


Photo by Ahmet Yüksek on Pexels

In Minnesota, big forests and national parks provide bobcats with a safe place to live. These cats have been part of Minnesota’s wildlife for ages, and now people work very hard to make sure they stay around. Bobcats in the state help keep the number of small animals in check. Because it’s cold there, Minnesota’s bobcats have thick fur, which folks like for making fur clothes.


A Close-Up Shot of a Bobcat
Photo by Alex Burr on Pexels

In Tennessee, you can find bobcats in lots of different places—from the plains near the Mississippi River to the Smoky Mountains. People have known about these cats for a long time, even since the first folks settled here. Bobcats in Tennessee are pretty sneaky so you might not see them often unless you’re really looking. But they’re doing a very important job by keeping the number of rodents and other small animals in check.


Luchs Nahaufnahme
Photo by Leon Aschemann on Pexels

In Vermont, people really care about keeping bobcats healthy and safe. These cats like to wander around in the big forests and rough land, where they have plenty of space to hunt and hide. Vermont’s strict rules against trapping and the good places for them to live help keep bobcats thriving. They have plenty of food—like deer and small animals, which helps them stay strong and healthy.


Bobcat Sleeping on Tree Branches
Photo by ALTEREDSNAPS on Pexels

People are careful in Oklahoma about making sure there are enough bobcats without having too many. They have rules about hunting and trapping bobcats to keep their numbers just right. Wildlife experts in Oklahoma also keep an eye on how many bobcats there are and if anything is affecting them—like changes in the environment or what folks are doing. Because of all this careful work, bobcats have a good place to live.


Close-Up Photo of a Furry Feline
Photo by Sam on Pexels

In Nevada, bobcats can live in both the hot desert and the mountains. In the past, it was very hard for them because the places they lived in were tough, and there wasn’t much water. But now there are about 20,000 bobcats in Nevada—showing how strong wildlife can be there. They eat lots of different animals in the desert to stay alive. You might even see them more often around cities like Las Vegas and Reno.


bobcat, forest, nature
Photo by Miller_Eszter on Pixabay

In Pennsylvania, bobcats have made a really impressive comeback since the middle of the 1900s. Back then, there weren’t many of them because folks hunted them a lot. But now, you can find them all over the state—especially in the big forests up north and in the Appalachian Mountains. Bobcats in Pennsylvania are very important because they eat lots of small animals and birds, which helps keep everything in nature balanced.


lynx, mammal, zoo
Photo by jaclyn928 on Pixabay

In Indiana, people thought bobcats were almost gone in the middle of the 1900s. But now, thanks to efforts to protect them, their numbers are growing again. You can mostly find these sneaky cats in the forests in the south of the state, but more and more folks are spotting them in neighborhoods, too. Indiana’s bobcats show that when we take care of their homes and make rules about hunting them—they can bounce back and thrive.


lynx, animal, mammal
Photo by GPoulsen on Pixabay

Wisconsin has more than 50,000 bobcats—mainly in the forests up north and in the central part of the state. These places are perfect for bobcats because there are lots of deer and small animals for them to hunt. People used to hunt bobcats a lot for their fur, but now folks who care about nature like to see them and learn about them. 


lynx, predator, animal
Photo by GKorovko on Pixabay

In Oregon, there are about 30,000 bobcats living in the forests and mountains. They’ve been there for a long time—even as folks have built more cities. Oregonians are working hard to keep the places where bobcats live safe and make sure there are enough of them around. And guess what? Oregon’s bobcats have really fluffy fur coats that keep them warm and dry in the rain and cold.


lynx, carnivore, cat
Photo by xivic on Pixabay

In Iowa, there are more bobcats now than before because people worked hard to protect them. There are at least 2,000 bobcats in Iowa, mostly in the forests in the south and east, but people are seeing them in other places, too. The folks in charge keep watching to make sure the bobcats stay healthy and help keep pests under control—which helps everything stay in balance where they live.


bobcat, forest, lynx
Photo by aiamkay on Pixabay

In Kentucky, there are more bobcats now because folks have been careful about taking care of them. They’ve made rules to protect where bobcats live and when people can hunt them. You can see a lot of cats in the forests in the Appalachian Mountains and in the wetlands out west. Just like in other places—bobcats in Kentucky help keep the balance of nature by eating small animals and rodents.


animal, cat, feline
Photo by RLLESLIE on Pixabay

In Connecticut, you can find bobcats living in the forests and countryside. Over the years, people have worked hard to protect them, so now there are more bobcats around. These bobcats help farmers and folks who work in the forests by eating pests, which helps crops and trees grow better. Even though there are more people living in Connecticut now—bobcats are good at living near cities and towns.


bobcat, feline, predator
Photo by MargSkogland on Pixabay

In Michigan, there are many bobcats—mainly up in the Upper Peninsula and the top part of the Lower Peninsula. But lately, they’re showing up in more places down south too. These cats are good at hunting, especially in the snow so Michigan’s thick forests and rough land are perfect for them. A cool thing about bobcats in Michigan is that people can trap them at certain times of the year to sell their fur. 


bobcat, bobcat on fence, backyard bobcat
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In Texas, bobcats are everywhere, from the forests in the east to the deserts in the west. They’re like the ultimate survivors—living and hunting in all kinds of places. As big cities like Houston and Dallas grow, you might even spot a bobcat roaming around. Texas has so many cool habitats that bobcats love, so they’re always exciting for photographers and scientists to check out.


lynx, nature, animal
Photo by Ceuline on Pixabay

In Colorado, bobcats are like sneaky experts, able to live in lots of different places. There are over 10,000 of them all over the state, even in cities and far-off places. Some cats have been seen way up in the mountains—as high as 11,000 feet! They’re really good at surviving in tough conditions. These lone hunters help keep the number of rodents and rabbits down, which is important for stopping diseases.


bobcat, wildlife, nature
Photo by Ray_Shrewsberry on Pixabay

In California, bobcats are doing great, living in all sorts of places like the coast and the mountains. To keep them safe, California made some strict rules, such as no trapping bobcats for money starting in 2020. They also keep an eye on how many bobcats there are and if they’re healthy to make sure they keep doing well even as more people move in.