PHOENIX — Across the Valley, some residents have seen some furry squatters taking advantage of their property.
Bobcats, sometimes a whole family of them, have been making backyards and pools their home.
“We’ve experienced a drought over the last couple of years. There’s more fires displacing them from their homes. The Valley is expanding with more properties like homes and golf courses,” Khymberly Lewus, with Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center said. “That combination is going to encouraging the bobcat to find water, food and move out of the desert.”
Bobcats looking for a place to raise a family look for a safe place with access to plenty of water. So like many human families, they move to the suburbs.
Lewus said a house with a pool can be an oasis.
“That’s perfect for them. That’s a really safe place you want to raise your kids. It has easy water, easy food,” Lewus said.
However, if you do see bobcats out back, Lewus said their presence is likely temporary. A few hours for a solo cat, up to a few months for a family with newborn kittens.
“Eventually they are going to move on when the weather improves and the kittens are able to move out on their own,” Lewus said. “Ultimately you want to let them be and have them raise their family.”
Lewus said bobcats normally run if confronted and are not a major safety concern. However, if bobcats are around, keep a close watch on small animals or little kids. Lewus said the cats will usually only attack if they are cornered.
If you don’t want your home to become a spot for bobcats Lewus recommended making your home a place they would prefer not to stay. Don’t leave out water or food.
If you do have unwanted bobcats and need them removed, do not try to do it yourself.
“The best route is to definitely contact a professional. So never try to intervene on your own. Never try to relocate on their own,” Lewus said. “If you try to scare them off the mom will go and the kittens will be left behind.”
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