Bobcat sightings have been on the rise in Westport over the past few years, and the
presence of these cats has received renewed attention due to high-profile social media posts in recent
weeks. It is not surprising that these cats are cropping up in Westport since the cats have been
actively recolonizing this part of Fairfield Country over the past 10-15 years.
Bobcats are generally unobtrusive neighbors. They are very focused on finding prey, which
primarily consists of rodents like mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits. The cats will also
prey upon young or infirm deer. Bobcats avoid conflict with humans and pets, but could pose a
threat to small, unattended dogs, particularly if the dog were to chase the cat.
Our overall recommendation for pet owners is to provide close supervision of small pets. This
directive is primarily to address the potential threat from coyotes. As we know, dogs smaller than
35-40 pounds can be at risk from coyotes, particularly if the dog is older. Bobcats generally retreat
from encounters with dogs, but there is potential for a dangerous encounter if the cat is cornered.
Westport Animal Control has been receiving a higher volume of calls regarding coyote and bobcat
sightings in the last few weeks. This is a typical seasonal pattern. As we enter late summer, parent
coyotes and bobcats are leaving their denning areas. Several citizens have seen bobcat kittens and
coyote pups playing in their yards. These juvenile animals pose no threat to humans, and they will
gradually become more wary of people as they get older.
Any time you see a coyote or bobcat in your yard, it is advisable to keep your pets indoors for a few
hours, and then walk the dog on a lead when going out. Bobcats and Coyotes are typically covering a
fair amount of ground each day, and they will move on quickly.
The same hazing strategies used for coyotes (high-decibel Storm whistle or air-horn) are effective
for bobcats. If you are concerned about frequent sightings, or would like more information, feel free
to contact Westport Animal Control (203-341-5076.

By Stephen Krauchick

DoingItLocal is run by Steve Krauchick. Steve has always had interest with breaking news even as an early teen, opting to listen to the Watergate hearings instead of top 40 on the radio. His interest in news spread to become the communities breaking news leader in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. He strongly believes that the public has right to know what is happening in their backyard and that government needs to be transparent. Steve also likes promoting local businesses.

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