How High Can Bobcats Jump? (Comparison)

Bobcats are stealthy medium-sized wild cats. They are great hunters, typically waiting till dawn or dusk to hunt for prey.

It’s not surprising bobcats are excellent jumpers. Typically, bobcats can jump at least 6 feet in the air, jumping over fences.

What Is The Highest A Bobcat Can Jump?

While most bobcats can jump over fences, that isn’t where they stop.

Bobcats can jump between 10 and 12 feet in the air, covering even more horizontal range. Bobcats can leap and reach nearly 20 feet.

Why Do Bobcats Jump High?

Bobcats jump high when they are looking for prey or when they are running from predators. Bobcats aren’t very big. They are often preyed on by mountain lions and wolves. 

Young bobcat felines, however, have more enemies. They are easy prey to owls, eagles, foxes, and coyotes.

Bobcats not only jump when they are scared and running away but when they spot a tasty snack.

These medium-sized cats often jump and climb over high fences and short buildings when they smell prey. Bobcats eat chickens, mice, wild birds, rabbits, and sometimes feral cats.

In other words, if a bobcat jumps into your yard, this means they smell food. Bobcats aren’t picky eaters and can also rummage through garbage and open food bags, specifically pet food.

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Bobcat Jumping Technique

Bobcats use their back legs as a spring to push up when jumping up. However, when a bobcat needs to jump across something or climb a post, they typically get a running head start.

Although some bobcats jump over fences without touching them, others look for fences that they can easily grip with their paws.

Do Bobcats Climb?

Bobcats are excellent climbers. They are actually better climbers than they are jumpers.

Bobcats not only jump, but they also climb when they spot easy prey. They climb over fences and buildings, but can also climb up trees.

When bobcats are scared and run away from a large animal, like domestic dogs, they also will climb trees.

Some bobcats also sleep in trees. Although it’s more common to find them sleeping in a warm den, like a hollow tree.

Bobcat Strength

Bobcats aren’t as strong as other large cats, but they can protect themselves. Adult male bobcats are a lot larger than female bobcats.

Male bobcats typically reach between 18 and 35 pounds. They measure 32 to 37 inches long. Females are slightly smaller at about 15 to 30 pounds and 28 to 32 inches long.

Technically, bobcats are only slightly larger than domestic house cats, but they have a bite force of around 827 PSI

Bobcats can take down white-tailed deer, although rare. Instead, they usually go for young fawns instead of mature adults.

Bobcats are also stealthy runners, although they can only run in small bursts. They can run up to 30 miles per hour, typically chasing down their prey after carefully stalking and cornering them.

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Bobcat Jumping Comparisons vs. Other Animals

Bobcats are impressive jumpers, but how do they compare to other large cats and cat-like animals?


Some people confuse bobcats and lynxes together. While they do share a similar appearance as medium-sized cats, lynxes have more fur and can withstand the cold. Their paws are built for cold weather and snow, unlike bobcats.

Lynxes can jump up to 6.5 feet in the air. They are also quick runners, reaching 50 mph in short bursts. This is impressive considering they are running in the snow!

Mountain Lion

Mountain lions, also called cougars and pumas are native to the Americas. Mountain lions are a lot faster and stronger than bobcats. They reach up to 40 – 50 mph and also leap high on trees.

The average mountain lion can leap 15 feet up a tree and impressively climb a 12-foot fence. While they only spring 50 mph in short bursts, mountain lions can actively run 10 mph without growing overly tired. 


Coyotes are natural hunters and can easily scale 14 foot fences to prey upon chickens, birds, and sometimes small pet animals like cats and dogs. Coyotes jump up to 6 feet in the air but use their strength and speed to effortlessly climb.

Bobcats and coyotes have similar jumping capabilities. But coyotes hunt young bobcats frequently. However, it’s rare for a coyote to turn their attention to an adult bobcat. Instead, research suggests they coexist.


Tigers and bobcats don’t live in the same environment, so there is no need for bobcats to fear these large cats. However, tigers are faster jumpers, runners, and climbers.

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Tigers can leap up to 16 feet in the air, covering a lot of distance while running and jumping. They can reach as far as 25 feet in one big leap. They also run up to 35 to 40 mph in short bursts.


Lions are fast animals. They are impressive and native to Africa. Lions can run in short bursts of up to 50 mph, but grow tired. While they grow tired, lions are still beasts and true kings of the beasts.

They jump about 12 feet horizontally and about 36 feet vertically. Lion cubs cannot jump as high, and rely on their mothers. Still, lions can jump and run a lot faster and higher than bobcats. Thankfully, these two animals don’t live in the same environment.

To Conclude

Overall, bobcats are impressive animals. They are no larger than a housecat but can fend for themselves outside, running, jumping, and climbing to find prey. On average, a large bobcat leaps 10 to 12 feet into the air reaching as far as 20 feet.

Nixza Gonzalez

Nixza is a highly experienced content writer with over five years of expertise in crafting expert blogs and digital content on the subject of animals. In addition to her writing skills, Nixza possesses a deep understanding of animal behavior and husbandry, honed through hands-on experience caring for her own pets and through her passion for gardening. When not working, Nixza can often be found spending quality time with her beloved animals, furthering her knowledge and deepening her connection to the natural world.

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