A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
The female raises the young alone. One to six, but usually two to four, kittens are born in April or May, after roughly 60 to 70 days of gestation. Sometimes a second litter is born as late as September. The female generally gives birth in an enclosed space, usually a small cave or hollow log. The young open their eyes by the ninth or tenth day. They start exploring their surroundings at four weeks and are weaned at about two months. Within three to five months, they begin to travel with their mother. They will be hunting by themselves by fall of their first year, and usually disperse shortly thereafter. In Michigan, however, they have been observed staying with their mother as late as the next spring.
This cute little bundle of fury came in right when I took the pictures. This bobcat kitten was found on the side of the road after her mom was killed by a car. She is out in an enclosure so that she can grow up with minimum contact with people. As Janet, one of the staff, grabbed her and held her, she unleashed attacks of pain onto the thickly layered leather gloves of Janet, hilariously causing no damage whatsoever. But she did defecate to try and ward us off, hence the poop-tail. The baby bobcat's body has no damage and is expected to be released far down in the future.