Virginia.gov

Bobcat

  • No Kill Permit required from VDGIF
  • Landowner may kill on his own land during closed season
  • You must contact the Commonwealth Attorney's office in your county/city for information regarding legal methods of animal removal. Local ordinances are usually more restrictive than state laws.

Bobcats are most active just after dusk and before dawn. They are secretive, solitary and seldom observed, tending to hunt and travel in areas of thick cover. Bobcats rely on their keen eyesight and hearing for locating enemies and prey.

Bobcats prey on medium-sized animals such as rabbits and hares. Although white-tailed deer is reported in diets of bobcats in the Northeast, there is evidence that bobcats probably kill very few deer unless other foods become scarce. When bobcats do take deer, they are most likely to kill sick, injured, young or very old animals. Compared to many wildlife species, bobcats rarely cause conflicts with human activities. Occasionally, they kill livestock, especially fowl, and attack domestic cats.

Problems caused by bobcats are very infrequent, should be addressed on an individual basis and can often be remedied by preventative methods such as fencing. They are not a significant vector of disease and rarely contract the mid-Atlantic strain of rabies.

  • If you are feeding wildlife, stop. This will cause them to lose their natural fear of humans.
  • Keep trash inside until the morning of trash pick-up or place trash in an animal proof container, such as a metal trashcan with latches on the lids.
  • Do not leave pet food outside; keep pet feeding areas clean.
  • Remove bird feeders when problem species have been seen around them.
  • Close up all openings under and into your buildings. Animals look for places to den and raise their young - don't give them that opportunity.
  • Pass along this information to your neighbors. If anyone in the neighborhood is feeding wildlife directly, or indirectly, it can cause trouble for everyone.
  • Install fencing around chicken coops or rabbit pens to protect them.
  • It is illegal in the State of Virginia to trap and relocate an animal to another area.
  • Contact your local health department if bobcat exhibits signs of rabies such as stumbling, foaming at the mouth or aggression.

If these techniques do not solve the problem, you can contact a licensed trapper or a critter removal service, which you can find in your local phone directory.