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Distinguishing Cougars, Bobcats, and Domestic Cats

Body shape and size of cougars, bobcats, and domestic cats

Cougar, bobcat, and domestic cat silhouettes

Key characteristics of cougars and bobcats

Cougar (Puma concolor)
Body:
5 - 6 feet long

Tail:
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 feet long 
(40% of body length from nose to tail tip)
Heavily furred

Adult Weight:
75 - 180 lbs

Coloration:
Plain yellowish to red-brown
Black coloring on end of tail and tips of ears, ears rounded
Young have spots

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Body:
2 - 3 1/2 feet long

Tail:
Approximately 6 inches long

Adult Weight:
10 - 40 lbs

Coloration:
Similar to cougar
Black coloring on end of tail and tips of ears, ears pointed with small tufts of fur
Young have spots

 

Help us gather information about cougars and bobcats

Report cougar and bobcat observations

Main Michigan Cougar Page

 
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