Do Bobcats Climb Trees? (Interesting Facts)

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

Do bobcats climb trees?

It’s a question that has likely crossed the minds of many people who have seen these kittens of the cat family in the wild.

In short, the answer is yes – bobcats are excellent climbers, and they can climb trees with ease.

This fact may come as a surprise to some, but it’s actually something that makes these felines quite efficient hunters.

Read on for more interesting facts about bobcats.

What makes bobcats excellent tree climbers?

The answer to this question is all in the bobcat’s claws.

Bobcats (and most other cats, for that matter) have “hooked” or semi-retractable claws on their feet which allow them to grip and hold onto tree branches and trunks while climbing.

They can use these hooked claws to easily climb trees trunk-first or to shimmy up a tree’s branches like an arboreal squirrel.

One interesting fact about bobcats (and most other cats) is that they are capable of quadrupedal locomotion – meaning, they can move around on four feet/legs instead of two if needed.

This enables them to cover larger distances by bounding from tree to tree if their prey has fled into the forest canopy.

How high can bobcats climb?

Bobcats are able to climb trees that are over 10 meters in height, and they have been spotted perching in trees as high as 40 feet above the ground.

Moreover, they can even climb over high fences to get to your backyard.

This is especially important because bobcat prey species such as rodents, rabbits, and birds (such as grouse and pheasants) often make their homes in the upper parts of trees.

As such, bobcats need to be able to find these prey with ease, which is why they are such adept climbers.

When would you see a bobcat climbing on a tree?

Although it’s not known exactly how high bobcats can climb, it’s not uncommon for people to spot them up in trees.

Usually, this happens during the early morning or at dusk when people are driving along the highway and happen to see a bobcat sitting on a tree branch alongside the road.

Unfortunately, these traffic hazards occasionally result in car accidents and bobcat injuries, so keep your eyes on the road if you spot a bobcat near or on the side of the road.

Why would a bobcat climb up a tree?

As mentioned above, bobcats are excellent tree climbers because it gives them added hunting options.

When their prey is up in the trees, these agile felines can easily go after them by climbing up after them.

This is especially efficient if the prey species (like squirrels) spend a lot of their time up in trees. Check out the battle between Bobcat Vs Squirrel: Can Squirrels Escape From Bobcat?

Another reason is to retreat from danger.

If a bobcat feels that it’s in danger, it may quickly climb up into a tree for refuge.

This is especially true if the threat comes from another animal, such as wolves or bears.

Would bobcats spend more time in trees or on the ground?

Although bobcats are excellent climbers, they spend the vast majority of their time living on the ground, rather than in the trees.

They use their climbing skills to move up into the trees when hunting or if they feel that they’re in danger, but bobcats are not above using other methods for catching prey – such as ambushing them from a hiding place on dry ground.

Do bobcats hide in trees?

do bobcats climb trees

Yes, bobcats will hide in trees.

They are able to climb them quickly and quietly, which makes it easy for them to leap out onto unsuspecting prey when the time is right.

Although they spend most of their time on the ground, hiding up in a tree can give a bobcat an added advantage when hunting because it enables them to cover more ground and see prey that might otherwise be hidden from view.

Do bobcats use their claws when climbing trees?

Yes, just like other cats, bobcats use their claws to grip and climb up tree trunks and branches.

They also hook onto bark with the semi-retractable claws on their hind feet as they shimmy up a tree’s trunk, which makes it even easier for them to ascend into the upper reaches of the canopy.

Do bobcats climb on all types of trees?

Yes, just like other cats, bobcats are capable climbers who use their abilities to scale a wide range of different types of trees.

This includes everything from coniferous evergreens like spruce and pine, to deciduous trees such as oak and elm.

Bobcats can even climb trees that are covered with ivy or other types of vines, which is important because what bobcats eat (such as rabbits and birds) often seek refuge in these types of vegetation.

Do bobcats sleep in trees?

It’s not known for sure whether or not bobcats climb into trees to sleep.

However, they have been spotted sleeping in the branches of tall coniferous evergreens, so it is possible that they may occasionally rest up in a tree when they’re feeling tired.


Bobcats are excellent climbers, and you can see them in trees along the side of the road during the early morning or at dusk.

They use their climbing skills to move up into the trees when hunting or if they feel that they’re in danger, but bobcats are not above using other methods for catching prey – such as ambushing them from a hiding place on dry ground.