For wildlife watchers, whether or not a bobcat is stronger than a coyote is a common musing, and the answer is, no.
Here, size makes the difference, but primal instinct is very close in strength with both animals.
Adult coyotes are much larger than bobcats, and both animals function at the same speed. In most fights, the coyote will win, but it is a fascinating discussion regardless.
Learn more about the differences between a bobcat and a coyote here.
A bobcat is not stronger than a coyote, but there are many primal and physical similarities between the two.
As such, in a fight, put your money on the coyote. Of course, there is always the chance the coyote could be having a bad day because bobcats are animals to be feared.
In the end, the coyote has more strength in almost every area.
Table of Contents
- What are the size differences between bobcats and coyotes?
- Which animal has a stronger bite?
- Do bobcats have better vision and hearing than coyotes?
- What are the defensive and offensive strategies of bobcats and coyotes?
- Which animal is more aggressive, bobcats or coyotes?
- How does each animal attack?
- Which animal would win in a fight?
Bobcats and coyotes are much different in size in both dimensions and weight. Bobcats have an adult weight that ranges between 9 pounds and 33 pounds.
They can grow to be 3.5 feet long and can be as high as two feet. They are rarely smaller than 12 inches tall or two feet long.
Coyotes have a weight range of 15 pounds to 45 pounds at maturity and can grow from two feet to almost three feet long.
In length, coyotes can be smaller than bobcats, but they are typically taller and have lighter feet.
Coyotes have evolved to be so light on their feet that in the right environment, and in most environments, you can’t hear them coming regardless of their size.
Coyotes almost prance like deer, whereas bobcats will stalk or march with large, padded feet that are as silent as coyotes when they are not sprinting.
When bobcats do sprint, the padding on their paws cushions the ground they are running on so that you will hear them jump, but their run will not be as loud.
Their speeds are similar, with ranges of 35–40 mph for both animals.
It is known that cats in general have innate and intuitive senses of both smell and sound, and coyotes are not much different.
It is impossible to assess their sense of taste, but they are both carnivores. Both animals also have a strong bite power as well so that they can both hunt and eat raw meat.
The bite power of the bobcat is strong, at 548 Newtons approximately, with the coyote bite power being 681 Newtons.
This is a scale calculated according to body mass and physical strength. Both animals have fierce teeth that can tear flesh and meat off of some of the strongest members of the animal kingdom.
A bobcat can kill its prey in one bite, and a coyote is close, but its feeding ritual is much different.
Coyotes often travel in packs and will share food, while a bobcat works on its own, most of the time, going for smaller animals such as rabbits and squirrels.
Coyotes are typically night animals, particularly in areas where there are more humans around.
They work at night and are naturally nocturnal, and so is the bobcat. For this, both animals need good vision and superior hearing.
Night vision in both animals is excellent, and it is impossible to say which animal is superior here.
In a fight, they are an equal match. The same applies to hearing, although coyotes may have an advantage here and are known to be able to hear up to a quarter of a mile away.
The same applies to their sense of smell. Both animals have superior scent capabilities, much like your domesticated cat or dog.
Animals in the home have a way of smelling when something is off sooner than humans, or when food is available, and so do bobcats and coyotes.
The answer to the question of which animal is stronger is going to rest in their fight strategy. Both animals have a clear offense and defensive position.
For both animals, speed is a big advantage in defense.
But both animals use silence and still placements for their offense. The bobcat, however, is not quiet when it comes to defense, and their screams can ward off many a predator.
Offensively, the bite power is a big weapon that both animals have.
One pounce by either and the prey is done. To get to the prey, the bobcat uses stealth and stalking, and a one-bite approach.
The coyote works in groups and almost doesn’t care if it is seen.
It is unlikely a fight between bobcats and coyotes would even occur because both need and want different things when it comes to the hunt.
A bobcat is out there solely to get its dinner, while coyotes engage in the hunt for sport and dinner.
It is part of the group mentality of pack hunting.
Size-wise, bobcats come under the coyote but they are more aggressive because they have to be.
They travel and hunt alone. Coyotes don’t need to scream to fend off predators, because there is a group of them that will make any animal, including humans, turn around and walk away.
Both animals are intimidating and carry a different sort of aggression. In the end, if it was one coyote versus one bobcat, the bobcat would likely win if it came down to aggression.
A fight on this score alone goes to the bobcat, and, while a coyote can and would hold its own, a bobcat will have lived a life of fighting on its own and so a solo fight would be easier for it than for a solo coyote.
For the bobcat, the attack comes in one jump and one bite. The strategy is in the hunt up to that point for the cat.
The coyote is a little different.
The coyote is not as silent or stealthy as the bobcat and is more strategic about its kill. They use almost the same technique every time.
The bobcat will pounce and bite on whatever it can get when it lands, while the coyote will lunge and typically move intuitively towards the weakest areas of the animal, such as the throat.
Both animals also use their claws when attacking.
The claws come out when the animal perceives a threat or needs to hunt effectively. For coyotes, the bite power is larger, so they may have a greater advantage when it comes to the actual attack during a fight.
It is likely the coyote will win in a fight with the bobcat because it is larger and has a larger bite power.
The coyote also has more overall strength. However, a bobcat has claws that are fiercer than a coyote’s, and its teeth are sharper too.
Another area where the coyote prevails is in its intuitive confidence, and that is just an instinct built into the animal.
Bobcats have that too, but coyotes have a sense of walking in and taking something down in a much different way than bobcats do.
Coyotes have a very intimidating offense and defense, and this could unnerve even a bobcat.
The bobcat definitely has a fighting chance, however. As a solitary animal, it is resourceful and intelligent.
Still, if the bobcat lost its stealth advantage, and the coyote lost its pack advantage, the coyote is still most likely to come out on top.