bobcats roaming around a home

Adorable bobcats family move into woman’s front yard for over a month

Bobcats are among the biggest cats out there that still look like house cats, unlike lions and tigers. In the state of Arizona, bobcats can be found at almost every elevation. However, these animals tend to be shy and avoid human contact. Even then, sometimes, if you live in Arizona you can have them as neighbors as in the case of Kate Smith.

In a photo that went viral on Twitter back in June 2021, a family of bobcats took residence on Smith’s front porch! The snap was quite adorable but these animals are still dangerous. As such, there was more to the story than just the picture of the cute large cats lazing around.


The Bobcats Encounter

Kate Smith, who lives in Mesa, Arizona woke up one day to find uninvited occupants on her front porch. She immediately took a picture of the scene to share it with the world. In the photo, there are three bobcats – a mother and two cubs sleeping peacefully in the shade of the porch. Take a look at the tweet here:


It can be lovely at first glance, but for Kate, it has become a bit more difficult. After all, Kate claims that the Bobcats family has been living on her porch for almost a month. Moreover, it did not seem like they were going to leave soon.

In an interview with 12News, Smith explained:

These guys have been here for a month. I was told that once the boys are old enough to hunt alone they should move on, but they have been here for a while.” [1]


The Authorities Know About It

As adorable as the family of bobcats may be, Smith would have liked to walk across her front porch. Plus, she has a pet dog in the house. So, initially, Smith had alerted the Game and Fish Department of Arizona about the situation. However, the experts replied that relocating bobcats are often fatal for the animals.

According to Smith, this was the explanation:


The answer they gave me was that if you take them out of their territory, they typically don’t survive…They’re territorial, so if you plop them down in an area they’re unfamiliar with, they usually won’t make it.

Smith is not a new resident in Arizona nor is it her first time seeing a bobcat. In fact, she has been living at her present address for 24 years. It is just to the west of Usery Mountain Regional Park. During all that time, she had seen another bobcat only once about 3 years ago. That time around, it was an injured bobcat that needed medical help. So she only saw it for about two days.

As such, Smith makes sure to keep as many people as she can from approaching the house’s front door:


I’ve got a sign out in the driveway for delivery people telling them not to come into our courtyard. All neighbors and family know not to come to the front door. Our dog is grounded at this point.

The last tweet about the situation was back in September. By then, 4 months had passed with the bobcats as guests.


Dealing With Bobcats

The Fish and Game Department of Arizona states that Bobcats very rarely try to attack humans. If a bobcat attacks they either have rabies or they are unusually aggressive.

Nevertheless, the department strongly advises everyone to keep their distance from the animals. Feeding them, or leaving food for pets outside can encourage the animals to enter the residence. It can also make them more comfortable being around humans. However, this will only harm the animals when the time comes for them to return to the wild.

In cases like Kate Smith, the department suggests leaving them as they are until the cubs mature enough. It should only be some weeks. At that point, the entire bobcat family should leave on their own. But, if it is an individual bobcat without any cubs, then the official advice is to scare it away.+

Additionally, shooting at bobcats or even having them as pets needs to be governmentally approved. So if you are in Arizona and you are in a similar situation, your best bet is to alert the authorities. Be that as it may, for the majority of us, the picture is still amazing.[2]  

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  1. Mesa woman goes viral after sharing photo of bobcat family lounging in front yard, but the photo doesn’t tell the full story.” 12 News. Hunter Bassler. June 26, 2021.
  2. Living With Bobcats.” AZGFD