Bobcats defend themselves using their retractable claws, which do not show up in their tracks, according to the National Trappers Association. These claws extend as they climb trees, catch prey or defend themselves from predators, such as mountain lions, wolves and male bobcats.

Bobcats have 28 teeth, including four canine teeth. They shear off meat in sizes that they can swallow whole without chewing. They have keen vision, hearing and sense of smell, and they mostly depend on their eyes and ears when hunting. They can run at fast speeds over short distances, but they typically walk when traveling. They often stalk prey slowly until it is within leaping distance. Bobcats also hide themselves behind rocks or on the limbs of trees while waiting for prey to come within striking distance.

The NTA explains that bobcats are significant predators of rabbits, helping stabilize rabbit population cycles, which benefits various predators. Bobcats also feed on snowshoe hares and venison. They sometimes eat ground and tree squirrels, mice, birds and beavers. A bobcat is capable of killing an adult deer, particularly in winter months when other food items are hard to catch. Some bobcats in western regions prey on sheep. Bobcats typically eat up to 2 or 3 pounds of meat daily.