Bobcat, 3 kits spotted in backyard of Prescott home
Resident watches kits play on terrace
Vickie Stockwell’s dog was barking Saturday afternoon, July 13, and she thought maybe there was another javelina traveling through the neighborhood.
“It was about two in the afternoon. I was sitting on my couch and my dog was going nuts, which means usually there’s a javelina. So I looked over my shoulder and thought, well, it’s just a cat,” Stockwell said Tuesday in a phone call. “I put my glasses on and she was moving in the area of my yard.”
Stockwell took some video from her couch of a bobcat with two of its three kittens, then the mother turned and walked by the neighbor’s carport. Stockwell took that opportunity to go to a window at the side of her house where she captured a few images of the mother with the three kits.
“Then she walked further down, down one level on my terrace, and laid down. The cubs were playing with her,” Stockwell added.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s (AZGFD) website states it is not uncommon to see bobcats napping in backyards.
“If you see a bobcat near your home, there is no need to panic. Bobcats rarely attack people,” it states.
Residents are warned not to put out food or water for wildlife. Bobcats may be attracted to property where an owner has scattered birdseed on the ground that can attract birds, rodents and rabbits – a bobcat’s dinner, in other words.
Stockwell said some residents in the neighborhood near Willow Creek Road and College Heights used to put out water, but the “insane number” of javelinas and stray cats this past winter put a stop to that.
Sharing one’s yard with a bobcat or a bobcat family can be enjoyable. “However, if you have small pets or livestock, you may want to discourage the bobcat from coming onto your property,” AZGFD advises.
Loud noises or spraying with a garden hose will scare them off. If the animal is in a confined space, open a gate and leave the area so it can escape on its own.
“Check for kittens in the area, and if kittens are there, then consider tolerating them for a few weeks until the kittens are large enough to leave the area with their mother,” it adds.
Stockwell said she is concerned someone might want to harm the mom and her kittens. One or two of her neighbors had spotted a bobcat within the past three or four months.
“But I don’t ever remember seeing one with cubs. That was extraordinary,” she said.
Follow Sue Tone on Twitter @ToneNotes. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.