International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

Venison or Turkey on the Menu?

By Wanda Angermyer

With our Canadian Thanksgiving just past and the American Thanksgiving just around the corner, one wonders what a Bobcat might be having for dinner to celebrate the occasion. I’m sure small rodents will be on the menu for appetizers and a wild turkey would do nicely for the main course where available. Of course if the in-laws are coming something larger might be in order – venison perhaps?

Despite their small size, bobcats can be effective predators of large adult ungulates, especially deer, generally killed when resting, as shown on the trail cam photos below. Several studies have found that males tend to consume larger prey than females, and that juveniles consume proportionally more rodents than adults. Ungulates can be an important winter food source for northern bobcats, when snow depth increases their vulnerability to predation. Young fawns are also particularly vulnerable. Bobcats will also scavenge deer, elk and moose carcasses killed by other predators.

Or if deer isn’t available, here is a video of a speedy little bobcat that decided to go with duck instead of turkey. Perhaps working on a “turducken” feast for Thanksgiving?


To learn more about these highly adaptable little cats, see the Bobcat page on the Carnivora blog or our website.

Sources: IUCN Cat Specialist Group, Trail cam photos:


One response to “Venison or Turkey on the Menu?

  1. Catherine H October 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    GOTCHA!!! Bob Cats really are a “cool” cat! It really is “something else” to see them in action! Hey- Thanksgiving or not, they’ve got to eat right! can’t imagine anything goes to waste…and why pass up a chance to play chase? thanks for the pics

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