Bears & BobCats: 6 Answers You Need to Know!

If you’re curious about the interaction between bears and bobcats, then you are at the right place! 

Bears are large and powerful predators, while bobcats are small and quick-moving creatures, so their interactions can sometimes be a big puzzle.

Here, we’ll explain all you need to know about the two species. Keep reading!

Table of Contents

Do American Black Bears Eat Bobcats?

No, American black bears do not typically eat bobcats. Bobcats are not a primary food source for them.

These bears are mainly omnivores, eating plant material, insects, and smaller mammals, but not bobcats.

In addition, there is not much scientific evidence or documented cases to show that they actively hunt and eat bobcats. However, it can happen sometimes.

American black bears would only eat a bobcat if it was an easy catch. It can also happen if they are in desperate need of food and there’s nothing available for them.

Additionally, American black bears can eat bobcats if they come across their dead bodies while sourcing for food.

Do Grizzly Bears Eat Bobcats

No, grizzly bears do not usually eat bobcats. While they may eat smaller creatures such as ground squirrels, marmots, and rabbits, bobcats are not typically part of their diet.

But they might sometimes consider it. There have been a few instances of grizzly bears eating bobcats, but it is not a common occurrence.

These grizzlies may have eaten the bobcats due to a lack of other food sources. Additionally, these two animals rarely come into contact with each other.

They are both solitary species and will always stay in their territories. However, their ranges may sometimes overlap.

When this happens, the grizzly bear is likely to chase, kill, and eat the bobcat.

Do Polar Bears Eat Bobcats?

No, polar bears do not eat bobcats. Their main source of food is seals. Sometimes, they eat walruses, whales, and other marine mammals. 

These bears live in the arctic regions where they hardly see bobcats to eat. Bobcats are land animals and are found in the forest areas of North America. 

Polar bears only eat them when they have run out of food options. The only way a polar bear could kill and eat a bobcat is if the bobcat was on the ice in the Arctic. 

But this is highly uncommon because the chances of direct encounters are extremely rare.

Why Do Bears Eat Bobcats?

Bears eat bobcats because they are hungry and facing food scarcity in their habitat.

When they are this hungry, they become opportunistic and take advantage of any available food, including bobcats. 

Although they can stay for a long period without food due to their reserved fats, they still look for alternative food sources when survival becomes tough. 

This is especially true during the winter months when bears enter a state of reduced activity (hibernation) and when food is scarce. 

How Do Bears Prey On Bobcats?

Generally, it’s rare for bears to catch and eat bobcats, since bobcats are good at avoiding bigger predators. But when it does happen, different bear species use the same tactics to eat them. 

These tactics include:

Ambush or Surprise Attacks

Bears have an excellent sense of smell which allows them to detect the presence of other animals, such as bobcats. 

In some cases, they use an ambush or surprise attack to take the bobcat off guard.

This involves waiting patiently near the bobcats’ habitat and then launching a surprise attack. Subsequently, they use their powerful jaws and sharp claws to kill it.

Opportunistic Predation

Bears are known to take advantage of any food source they come across, and if they find a bobcat nearby, they may try to catch it. 

This could occur if the bobcat is unaware of the bear’s presence or cannot run quickly enough. Some bears have been seen feeding on the remains of bobcats.

A few of them chase and catch wounded or tired ones too, then take advantage of it as a food source.


Bears can chase after bobcats, particularly if they are weakened or hurt. When a bobcat is in a weak state, may be sick, injured, or tired, it is more likely to be preyed upon by a bear. 

In these cases, bears may take the chance to pursue and catch the bobcat. They maximize their ability to run for extended periods without getting tired to chase them down and overpower them.

What Other Animals Do Bears Eat Besides Bobcats?

A Grizzly Bear Feeding on the Carcass it Has Just Killed

Bears eat a variety of animals for food. Here are a few examples:


Generally, bears do not eat bobcats because it is not a major part of their diet. However, if they have nothing else to eat, they can hunt and eat them. 

This is because bears are powerful predators, and can take down any animal, including bobcats.

They may stalk them or launch surprise attacks to capture them. Sometimes they will chase them until the animal is too exhausted to run or escape.

But, surprisingly, bear species like black bears are often scared to chase animals like dogs! If you’re wondering why, take a look at our article, “Are Black Bears Afraid Of Dogs” to find out!