What Should You Do if You Spot a Bobcat? Experts Say There's No Reason to Panic

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As the summer brings the middle of bobcat breeding season, a Wylie nonprofit animal rescue service said it's receiving regular calls from people wondering what to do about their neighborhood bobcat.

In-Sync Exotics, a big cat sanctuary, said there's no need to panic if you spot a bobcat. In fact, they say the best thing you can do if you find a bobcat is to leave them be.

"The good news is that bobcats are the best pest control you could hope for!" In-Sync said in a newsletter email. "They don't want to bother us, and are not just waiting to prey upon children or pets - they would much rather we didn't even know they were there."

But, if you do want the bobcats to stay out of your backyard, In-Sync recommends a few steps to keep your backyard bobcat-free.

  • Don't leave your pet's food out
  • Pull in the bird feeder
  • Don't leave scraps in outside trashcans
  • Leave a radio turned on to a talk radio station, set up motion-sensor sprinklers, or make loud noise any time you do see them to encourage the mother bobcat to move her kittens to another location

If you already have a bobcat problem, according to In-Sync Exotics, trapping either or both the mother and kittens isn't the best solution to relocate the bobcats.

"If you trap and remove the kittens, the distraught mother will go right back into heat and there will be another litter," In-Sync said. "If you remove the mother, the kittens will die. And in the case of either the removal of just the mother or the entire family, this will leave a vacancy for another mother and her young to fill."

The DFW Wildlife Coalition also advises against trapping wild animals in your neighborhood and instead said evicting is the simpler solution.

Their recommended eviction process helps the family stay intact as well as stop the spread of disease. Often, the discovery of the den is enough for the parents to move the family, the DFW Wildlife Coalition said, and once you do discover the den, there are a few steps you can do to speed up the move-out day.

The eviction should be deployed at dusk.

  • On day one at dusk, leave the lights on in the yard.
  • Add a portable radio on a 24-hour station near the den.
  • Place Apple Cider vinegar on some rags around the den opening.
  • Turn deterrents off the morning of day two. If you are unsure that the family moved, repeat deterrents at dusk again.
  • On the morning of day three, seal the entry of the den with newspaper, plastic garbage bag taped to the edges, or other barrier that can be easily removed by the animals if they are still in the den.
  • Then, if the opening is still sealed after 24 hours, meaning no animals are using the den, place a permanent repair on the den to make sure another animal won't occupy the abandoned den.

If the eviction doesn't work or you have a separate urgent concern, you can call the DFW Wildlife Coalition at 972-234-9453. People are also encouraged to call if you suspect a mother left a baby behind after the eviction process.

You can also read more about various frequently asked questions about bobcats here, as well as general tips to discourage wildlife in your yard.

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