Found in abundance across America, northern Mexico, and southern Canada, the bobcat is an elusive predator that many of us will never have the joy of seeing in the wild.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t still learn lots about them and enjoy all the wonderful things they have to offer.
Like most species of cat, one of the most intriguing things about the bobcat are the sounds it makes.
A particularly noisy species of cat, the bobcat produces a wide range of noises, all of which have different meanings.
Whether it be a piercing scream or a charming meow, the bobcat does it all. Today, we want to show the sounds a bobcat makes.
We’ll look at the reasons behind each sound and when we might hear them for ourselves.
Let’s get stuck in!
What Sound Does A Bobcat Make?
Let’s get straight to the point by looking at the question you came here looking for the answer to.
The bobcat doesn’t just make one sound. Instead, they have a whole collection of different sounds that they use at different times of day, for a wide variety of different reasons.
Some of the vocalizations bobcats make are growls, hisses, snarls, squalls, screams, yowls, caterwauls, and of course, the famous cat meow.
These sounds will be used to signal different things as the bobcat goes about its day-to-day life.
Aggressive snarls and hisses might be used to warn off potential threats, screams and yowls could signal pain or danger, and louder screams could be used as a mating call.
These noises can be pretty loud and intense. In fact, if you’re nearby, you’ll almost definitely hear them.
What Sound Does A Bobcat Make At Night?
Bobcats, like most big cat species, prefer to come to life at night.
Considered a nocturnal species of cat, the bobcat will leave its den at dusk and hit peak activeness around 12 am. It is during this time that people have the best chance of hearing a wild bobcat.
Through the night, bobcats are extremely vocal. The sounds bring the forest to life. Some may even consider them creepy.
At night, you are most likely to hear a bobcat let out loud screams. Bobcat mating season occurs during the night. Therefore, the screams you will hear are bobcats letting out a mating call.
You may also hear hissing or snarling if two males have clashed over a female bobcat.
What Sound Does A Bobcat Make During Mating Season?
It is widely believed that bobcats are at their loudest during mating season. After all, they need to impress the females if they want to reproduce.
This usually occurs between January and May. During this time of year and at night, you could hear the bobcat quite clearly.
The most common sound they make during the mating season is a loud, high-pitched scream as the males look for a female.
Male bobcats are also quite aggressive during the mating season so you could also hear them snarl, hiss, and squall.
These sounds could be aimed at another male or towards an unwilling female.
The hissing, snarling, and squalling sounds very threatening.
Why Do Bobcats Scream?
The scream of a bobcat is also referred to as caterwauling. Those that have heard the bobcat’s screams before often say that it sounds like a woman screaming at the top of her lungs.
Heard from up to a mile away, the bobcat’s scream is most commonly a loud and long-distance call.
When the bobcat lets out a scream, they are essentially looking for a female to mate with. These screams are a series of intense screeches, with a regular interval between each call.
Another reason a bobcat might be heard screaming is that they are in danger from a predator.
They sometimes let out a scream or a cry if they are scared.
Do Bobcats Meow?
Like domesticated house cats, bobcats can meow. In fact, meowing is one of the more common sounds a bobcat makes.
Hearing a bobcat meow is extremely difficult as you would have to be pretty close to hear it.
Like a housecat, a bobcat might meow to show comfort, happiness, or potentially a hello to another animal or human. This is particularly common in pet bobcats.
However, if a bobcat feels threatened, they are very unlikely to make a meow sound. Instead, they might let out a snarl, hiss, or cough-bark-like sound. Occasionally, they will also wail.
Do Bobcats Growl At Humans?
The chances of a bobcat growling at a human are very low. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but it’s a rarity whenever it does.
Most bobcats prefer to steer clear of humans. They feel threatened and scared. Therefore, if you come face to face with a bobcat, don’t be surprised to see it quickly run away.
Having said that, more aggressive bobcats have been known to make a growling, hissing-like noise toward people when they feel threatened and protective of their young.
If this happens to you, your best bet is to simply walk away.
Do Bobcats Sound Like A Woman Screaming?
Interestingly, the scream of a bobcat has been compared to that of a woman screaming.
This high-pitched scream is likened to that of a woman in pain. Not everyone believes this though. There are other people that think the scream of a bobcat sounds more like a baby crying.
Either way, the scream doesn’t always sound like a cat.
Like most cats, bobcats have a wide collection of different sounds at their disposal. These sounds include meowing, hissing, snarling, screaming, and squalling.
A bobcat will use different sounds for different reasons. They will let out a loud scream when trying to find a female, hiss and snarl when competing with another bobcat, and meow when happy.
Now you know more about the sounds bobcats make, you should have a better idea of what to listen out for the next time you think you’ve heard one.