Bobcats in Ohio: Types & Where They Live (2023)

More Great Content:

See a Gator Bite an Electric Eel…

The 15 Deepest Lakes in the United…

Watch an Impossibly Rare Coyote and Bobcat…

The 10 Largest Lizards in the World

(Video) Bobcats in Ohio – Katie Dennison, ODNR-Division of Wildlife

The 6 Worst Tornadoes in the United…

Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

Key Points:
  • Bobcats once disappeared from Ohio, but now their population has built back.
  • A top predator in Ohio, the bobcat lives in wooded areas.
  • Bobcats are protected by law and cannot be killed or trapped.

Ohio, one of the twelve states in the Midwest, has four major different habitats: forests, prairies, wetlands, and the Great Lakes. This fact demonstrates how diverse the state’s landscapes are, and how equipped it is to support various animal species. Native white-tailed deer, cockroaches, mourning doves, American bullfrogs, snapping turtles, black bears, coyotes, and bobcats are a few of these species.

The bobcat is a fascinating species of wild cat. This regal cat has captivated people for years thanks to its enticing appearance and quiet disposition. Bobcats weigh between 15 and 40 pounds and have an average lifespan of 7 years. They are carnivores, but will not attack humans unless provoked, and then they can be fierce fighters, like any cat.

But what is the status of these felines in the state? Are they endangered, or are they allowed to be hunted and trapped? This article addresses everything you need to know about bobcats in Ohio.

Are There Bobcats in Ohio?

Bobcats in Ohio: Types & Where They Live (1)

To quickly answer this, yes, bobcats are present in Ohio. However, they haven’t always been. Rarely are we able to celebrate the return of a once-native species to areas where they formerly roamed, but that is exactly what is happening with Ohio’s bobcats. The majority of the state used to be home to these secretive creatures, but by 1850 they had all but disappeared. Now, they are returning.

It felt like there hadn’t been any bobcats to count in Ohio for nearly a century, along with other wildlife species like wild turkeys. But researchers established that the state currently has resident populations. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife, reports that 499 bobcat sightings were confirmed in the most current report from 2020. Residents of Washington County reported the highest number in the state, at 26, but other counties nearby also recorded large numbers.

Studies dating back to the 1900s claim that the bobcat was previously hunted to extinction, but sightings have increased dramatically during the past 20 years. The ODNR has never before recorded a spike like that in the last ten years.

Bobcats are one of Ohio’s top predators, sharing the position with other animals like coyotes and birds of prey like red-tailed hawks and bald eagles. In their habitats, predatory animals are crucial in controlling the numbers of other creatures.

Where Do Bobcats in Ohio Live?

Bobcats in Ohio: Types & Where They Live (2)

The typical bobcat’s territory ranges between 6 and 12 miles of primarily wooded land next to open areas. A bobcat is less likely to thrive in a location like the Munroe Falls Metro Park, bordered by homes and businesses. Although bobcats are already widespread in areas of southeast and southern Ohio, there are still vast areas of appropriate woodland habitats that are uninhabited, particularly in northeast Ohio. As the population grows and spreads out, the coming years should see an increase in bobcat reports.

(Video) Ohio's Bobcat Population Increasing

In “modern” times, the first bobcat encounter was reported in 1946. From the time of extinction until the 1960s, there were sporadic sightings of bobcats, but these weren’t frequent enough to suggest that they settled down, until the early 2000s.

Southern Ohio bobcats still have genetic ties to those in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Additionally, the population in the southeast is expanding more quickly and seems self-sustaining. In fact, the bobcat is known to live in every state of the lower 48 except Delaware. Anywhere there are forests, swamps or coastal areas, or desert and scrubland, this adaptable cat can make a home.

History of Bobcats in Ohio

The resurgence of bobcats in Ohio is a success story the state prides itself on. According to the ODNR, bobcats are endemic to Ohio. They were abundant throughout the state before it was settled. However, the bobcat population decreased throughout the 1800s when woods were cut down and marshes and wetlands were drained to make space for settlements and farmland. By 1850, the bobcat had been completely eradicated from Ohio due to habitat loss and fur hunting. There were only sporadic records of bobcats from 1850 until the 1960s, mostly in eastern Ohio.

Over a century later, habitats suitable for bobcats reappeared in Ohio as previously farmed areas changed back into the forest, and abandoned mines were rehabilitated. This resulted in the bobcat’s reintroduction. In Ohio, the species saw a resurgence in the middle of the 20th century, and current sighting maps from the ODNR show that the wild cats are now being sighted more frequently and in record numbers throughout the state.

Verified sightings have generally skyrocketed in the past ten years. The bobcat was taken off Ohio’s list of endangered and vulnerable species in July 2014.

What Brought Bobcats Back To Ohio?

Bobcats in Ohio: Types & Where They Live (3)

According to biologist Ryan Donnelly, bobcats were brought back to Ohio through a reintroduction program in the 1990s, and they now seem to be thriving. According to an ODNR report, it is challenging to determine the population from sighting reports. Since many of them are captured using trail cameras, which have recently become more affordable and widespread, the rise in sightings may be the consequence of many more people paying attention to the trails.

In Ohio, there were almost 500 confirmed sightings as of 2017, according to data. Verified sightings are descriptions of incidents in which a bobcat is positively identified, and they may involve roadkill or accidentally captured animals. The southeast part of the state has experienced the majority of these sightings. Being elusive and solitary by nature, bobcats make every sighting special.

Can Bobcats Be Hunted in Ohio?

Bobcats are still safeguarded in Ohio and cannot be killed or trapped, but in 2014 the Wildlife Council took them off the list of endangered or threatened species. Since the early 2000s, the Division of Wildlife has worked with or funded scientists at Ohio University on several bobcat research initiatives.

Up Next:

  • Watch an Impossibly Rare Coyote and Bobcat Sighting at Once
  • Bobcat vs Lynx: The 4 Key Differences Explained
  • Can Domestic Cats Breed With Bobcats?

More from A-Z Animals

Watch a Gargantuan Komodo Dragon Effortlessly Swallow a Wild Boar

Watch a Lioness Save Her Zookeeper When the Male Lion Attacks Him Point-Blank
(Video) 12 SCARY Bobcat Videos to Make You Run the Other Way!

Watch This Huge Komodo Dragon Flex Its Power and Swallow a Shark Whole

See ‘Dominator’ – The Largest Crocodile In The World, And As Big As A Rhino

The Largest Great White Sharks Ever Found Off Florida Waters
(Video) Bobcats

Biggest Wild Hog Ever? Texas Boys Catch a Hog the Size of a Grizzly Bear

The Featured Image

Bobcats in Ohio: Types & Where They Live (10)

Bobcats in Ohio: Types & Where They Live (11)

About the Author

Taiwo Victor

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

  1. LakeMetroParks, Available here:
  2. The Scioto Post, Available here:
  3. Farm and Dairy, Available here:
(Video) We Share Our Home With Two Bobcats | BEAST BUDDIES


1. Land of the Bobcats | Full Documentary
(Assorted Animals)
2. Population Viability of Ohio’s Bobcats: Viorel Popescu
(Ohio Wildlife Management Association)
3. Family's new kitten turns out to be a bobcat
(WPLG Local 10)
4. Taylor Talks to Her Neighbor On Ring Video Doorbell After Running Away From a Bobcat | RingTV
5. NCAAF 2022 Arizona Bowl - Ohio Bobcats vs. Wyoming Cowboys
6. Bobcats in Tucson - A Study of Bobcats Living Along the Wildlands/Urban Interface by Cheryl Mollohan
(Arizona Master Naturalist Education Programs)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Last Updated: 05/11/2023

Views: 6439

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Birthday: 2001-08-13

Address: 96487 Kris Cliff, Teresiafurt, WI 95201

Phone: +9418513585781

Job: Senior Designer

Hobby: Calligraphy, Rowing, Vacation, Geocaching, Web surfing, Electronics, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Benton Quitzon, I am a comfortable, charming, thankful, happy, adventurous, handsome, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.