Neighbor reports bobcat sighting in town

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Bobcat sitting in a tree. Photo: Kramer Gary, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (public domain).
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A Ferndale neighbor reported seeing a bobcat stalking her pet cat until her dog scared it off.

The sighting occurred in their backyard in the area of Church Road and Douglas Road.

According to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife,

Bobcats are opportunistic and will prey upon a wide variety of animals.

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Food sources include mice, voles, rabbits, gophers, mountain beaver, yellow bellied marmots, fawns; also insects, reptiles, birds, and carrion.

Domestic animals occasionally taken include house cats, poultry, small pigs, and lambs.

Bobcats are no strangers to western Washington and are found throughout the state. Those in western Washington tend to be darker than those on the east side of the state.

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Adult male bobcats weigh 20 to 30 pounds and average 3 feet in length. Females are considerably smaller and may weigh less than a large house cat. Bobcats can be various shades of buff and brown, with dark brown or black stripes and spots on some parts of the body. The tip of the tail and the backs of the ears are black. They have short ear tufts, and ruffs of hair on the side of the head, giving the appearance of sideburns.

According to the WDFW, there are ways to prevent conflicts with bobcats. They include:

Don’t feed wildlife. This includes deer, feral cats (domestic cats gone wild), and other small mammals. Remember predators follow prey.

Feed dogs and cats indoors and clean up after them. If you must feed outside, do so in the morning or midday, and pick up food and water bowls, as well as leftovers and spilled food as soon as pets have finished eating. Water, pet food and droppings attract small mammals that, in turn, attract bobcats.

Keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn. Left outside at night, small dogs and cats may become prey for bobcats (which have attacked cocker-spaniel-size dogs).

Enclose poultry (chickens, ducks, and turkeys) in a secure outdoor pen and house. Bobcats will eat poultry if they can get to them. Note: Other killers of poultry include coyotes, foxes, skunks, raccoons, feral cats, dogs, opossums, weasels, hawks, and large owls.

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