WEST SEATTLE SIGHTING: Is this a bobcat? (Update: Consensus, no)

We’ve had a few reports of bobcat sightings in West Seattle over the years, but no photos. Tonight, Ellen sent these photos of what she believes was a bobcat, seen in the 5000 block of 38th SW [map]:

Consulting the official state Living With Wildlife page about bobcats – it’s not out of the realm of possibilities. Or maybe a hybrid cat?

69 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE SIGHTING: Is this a bobcat? (Update: Consensus, no)"

  • NotABob May 11, 2021 (8:41 pm)

    Not a bob cat—no ear tufts or bob-tail and the paws are too small. Looks like a domestic stray. Possibly a bengal mix. 

    • Carol May 13, 2021 (8:32 am)

      Maybe a Canadian lynx?

      • Donald Fohergill May 14, 2021 (7:23 am)

        Not a bobcat or a Canada lynx. Bobcat paws are much larger and lynx even bigger . Both have ear tufts and the lynx looks like it has sideburns. I’ve been trapping bobcats for over 40 years. It’s  not  either one.

        • Robert Green May 17, 2021 (8:01 am)

          Nope, just a house cat

    • Dale May 13, 2021 (1:05 pm)

      Serval hybrid or F2 

    • Josh williams May 17, 2021 (8:05 am)

      Not a bob cat . Although probably 2/3rds domestic it does have the markings of a African wild cat or ocelot witch is very possible . There are a lot of people who have wild cats. That one in picture does look like it is free . And will eat what ever it can kill. 

    • Sharon Lammers May 17, 2021 (8:52 am)

      It looks like one of the new designer house cats

    • Jean-Sebastien Blais May 17, 2021 (2:04 pm)

      I believe it’s an ocelot that ran away from it’s owner

    • Fawn Brown May 18, 2021 (4:06 pm)


  • Westerner May 11, 2021 (8:51 pm)

    The face looks more like a hybrid to me… our mix breed is dead now, but looked a lot like that. I’m not a wildlife expert, so maybe someone else knows more.

  • Westside May 11, 2021 (8:51 pm)

    Definitely not a bobcat. Looks like a larger male bengal cat. I had bobcats in my yard all of the time when I lived in Sammamish, they have bigger ears with tufts in them and their tails usually looked bobbed and are bigger than this cat. I have a female bengal that looks just like the photos.

    • Pam Leach May 14, 2021 (10:20 pm)

      My neighbors have 2 Bengal cats just like this.  Very COOL cats.  No threat!

  • Beach girl May 11, 2021 (8:56 pm)

    Watch your kitties!  Bring them in at night. 

    • Matt P May 11, 2021 (11:58 pm)

      No, do not let them out at all.  Domestic cats devastate local bird populations when left to roam free.

      • Westside May 12, 2021 (2:03 am)

        Amen!! As much as my female bengal wants to go outside & hunt, it is in their best interest and the birdies, that she doesn’t. Plus….I guess I am selfish and don’t want to lose her to a predator, car, mischievous acts, etc….She may not appreciate it all of the time but she is safe inside and has an outside space, that is safe and she can enjoy the elements. I have two other kitties and they don’t have that Asian Leopard mix in them,  but they appreciate they also have outdoor space too and they are all safe & enclosed.

      • Sasquatch May 12, 2021 (8:44 am)

        Amen! We took down our feeder because neighborhood cats kill the birds. Felt like we were baiting them for their slaughter. 

        • Marilyn (Ellsworth) Haire May 12, 2021 (6:14 pm)

          Comparing the ivy leaf size this cat is standing in it’s too small to even be a bobcat kit.  I agree it’s probably a Bengal mix.  Note its extraordinarily long legs, too.

    • Renee Marie Austin May 13, 2021 (1:32 pm)

      This is my real teal cat Renee she is missing 

  • Vanessa May 11, 2021 (8:56 pm)

    It’s a breed called Bengal. They have been domesticated! From crossing an ocelot and a tabby.  I hope you find the owner.  

    • Bob Kelly May 12, 2021 (8:37 am)

      Actually, they are bred from Asian Leopard Cats. Bengals are super smart and make great companions , love them!

      • john tooby May 12, 2021 (11:22 pm)

        I agree its an asian leapord. Which after 3 generations can be a domestic cat. My folks had one it was by far the most playful cat ever. I have a tabby now that i believ is part bengal. Thats a beautiful cat hope nobody gps where photo os from i can see some greedy mo ey hungries trapping it to breed it:( do cats really decimate bird populations? I appreciate my cats hu ting daily to enrich her good intake . my mom has just taught me the greed of animal food providers ha e eliminated the healthy stuff amd what we buy in stores is filler. Her animals no lo ger lose hair and are way healthier . she makes her own food. My cat does get a bird or mouse or gopher or rabbit daily. Yes i said rabbits. She has brought in almost a full size cotton tail squealing like a stuck pig kicking the life out of my poor cat. I try to “let the whatever she has in her mouth live ” this has kept her from coming in with any reach of me protecting said lunch so i dont have to see it. But it is after nature. And the thing we call circle of life. I believe more than imprisoning the cat just do your part and spay or neuter that should help the rodent and bird populations flourish in itself.

        • David May 14, 2021 (3:49 am)

          If someone said that it’s not their fault their loose pit bull killed your loose cat, it’s just “the thing we call circle of life” (and besides it was his first time), would you nod and agree? No? Then why should others just shrug when your cat kills the bird or squirrel they’ve been feeding for months, and leaves the body on their doorstep, as part of a long-standing pattern?

        • Nancy May 14, 2021 (7:30 pm)

          Why don’t you keep your “poor cat” indoors so it doesn’t continue to kill native species wildlife?  How selfish!

        • Nancy May 14, 2021 (7:37 pm)

          Your “poor cat” should be kept indoors.  Don’t continue to decimate native species wildlife.  Irresponsible!

        • Nancy May 14, 2021 (8:02 pm)

          2.5 billion birds a year killed by cats whose owners let them roam outside, even in their own backyards.

  • MissKitty May 11, 2021 (9:02 pm)

    That looks like a bengal cat! I have a bengal/tabby mix and they are much larger than the average house cat. My girl looks very similar. Bengals tend to be super friendly and very talkative. Probably someone’s pet!

  • Wsgal May 11, 2021 (9:04 pm)

    Looks a bit more like a Bengal or savannah cat to me. 

    • Chris May 12, 2021 (5:27 am)

      My thoughts exactly. I have a Bengal mix, and he looks just like that cat.

  • Monica May 11, 2021 (9:06 pm)

    It looks like a Savannah cat to me. Are they illegal to have in our state? Poor beautiful baby….

    • Bob Kelly May 12, 2021 (8:36 am)

      I have known of a few people in WA State that own Savannahs. I myself would love to have one!

  • Frog May 11, 2021 (9:10 pm)

    Bobcats have a characteristic mane not present on this one.  It looks like a Bengal cat or similar novelty hybrid.  It seems that such cats are abandoned surprisingly often (considering that they are expensive to buy in the first place) because they are high-maintenance compared to a regular domestic cat.

  • Dan E. May 11, 2021 (9:13 pm)

    Bobcats have black tufts on the tips of their ears, longer fur on their jowls, and stockier legs. This definitely looks like a hybrid, though it’s hard to pin down because different generations (F1, F2, etc.) can have very different markings.

  • Katherine L May 11, 2021 (9:24 pm)

     Don’t bobcats have very short  (bob) tails?

  • Peggy May 11, 2021 (9:27 pm)

    It is definitely not a Bobcat. It is too small, body shape is svelte, has a long tail, and the coat pattern is spotted. Probably a hybrid domestic cat,  very beautiful, Bengal or Savannah. Google Bobcat for comparison, and habitat range.

  • Chris Stripinis May 11, 2021 (9:31 pm)

    The tail looks too long.  Bobcats have a shorter stubby tail: https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/species/lynx-rufus#desc-range

  • Insertname May 11, 2021 (9:41 pm)

    Ay Dios mío. Es el gato diablo! 

  • Alexa May 11, 2021 (10:38 pm)

    Not a bobcat or a Savannah. I agree with what others have already said. It’s likely a Bengal and someone is looking for him/her.I hope the cat finds his/her way back home.

  • Karen B. May 11, 2021 (10:47 pm)

    I spotted this cat earlier in the 5000-block of 36th shortly before dark tonight. Shooed it away (and it headed west) because it was about to jump into our fenced back yard where we’ve recently seen baby bunnies. Looked like a Bengal to me.

  • Alki resident May 11, 2021 (10:51 pm)

    HELP, that’s my sons Bengal. It’s been missing for a month. Got out of the house and disappeared. Please call 719-229-7702 if anyone can catch him. 

    • CAM May 12, 2021 (12:13 am)

      The area referenced by the original reporter is a large wooded hill with lots of room for hunting by a cat. If it is your son’s cat I could see that he would go back there to get more food or that he would have settled there. I’ll try to keep an eye out and text if I see him. Does he have a name? 

      • Alki resident May 12, 2021 (7:07 am)

        Thank you. I called my son last nite. It’s not his apparently. His has long hair. 

  • Lara Garrett May 11, 2021 (11:47 pm)

    About an hour ago, I just happened to be closing the front window upstairs when I looked down and saw this cat, or a similar one, run from the road and up our walkway, then veer off through the bushes to our neighbor’s house! I could not believe my eyes! I couldn’t see it super clearly, but it was very fast and WAY bigger than a domestic cat. I immediately thought of a Lynx because it looked like it had tips on its ears. I know it would not be a Lynx around here, but in just now looking at all of the photos of Bengal vs. Savannah vs. Bobcat, the one I saw in my yard looked definitely more like a Bobcat. Again, I don’t know if it is the same one in the photos above. We have a security camera in the front, and it captured only a portion of it, and it does not take clear images at night, but I’m going to have my husband save it so we can look at it in slow motion tomorrow. We live on 45th across from Madison Middle School. Maybe it came up from Schmitz? But sad that it is far from that area.

    • Lara Garrett May 11, 2021 (11:55 pm)

      Adding a note to my comment above.  I just saw on another page that a Bobcat is actually a type of Lynx — the smallest breed of Lynx.  So my initial thought of it being a Lynx was not as wrong as I thought!  

    • francisco j briseno May 12, 2021 (8:42 pm)

      I saw a bigger brownish small tail big back paws  last Thursday around midnight on West haven  apartment complex    Holden and 26  by the creek I was walking my dog and jump in front of us scare the hell out of us    

  • B May 12, 2021 (1:02 am)

    Looks like an Oncilla to mehttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oncilla

  • Steve May 12, 2021 (3:18 am)


  • Melissa B Welker May 12, 2021 (4:47 am)

    Looks just like my guy who disappeared about a year and half ago from 38th ave. SW and Austin. I look for him everyday. Here’s a photo of him.

    • Ronald Smith May 12, 2021 (9:38 am)

      Melissa do you have a picture of the right side of your cat .the pattern is very distinct. I believe that the cat pictured could’ve yours but need more photos..

  • Joyce Martin May 12, 2021 (7:06 am)

    The cat pictured is 100% not a bobcat.   It’s a  domestic cat.  Perhaps a Bengal or bengal hybrid.   A bobcat has a different body structure, and has a bobbed tail about 1/3 the size of the cat posted.  This does not mean you do not have bobcats in your area, as bobcats are on the most successful wild cats species and are very adaptable to urban environments. If you do have them, enjoy them!  They are special to watch and learn from!

  • Bob Kelly May 12, 2021 (8:34 am)

    That looks more like a Savannah Cat, which is a hybrid-domestic. I have had two Bengals over the years, which has somewhat different markings and a more conventional shaped head and snout. Hope this cat finds its way back to its owner. 

  • Derek May 12, 2021 (8:38 am)

    Not a bobcat lmao

  • wscommuter May 12, 2021 (8:42 am)

    We need to get our coyotes back … the bunny and raccoon population needs adjusting again.  

  • Joan May 12, 2021 (8:53 am)

    People, I plead with fellow cat owners!!! Keep your cats indoors, for their safety and that  of all other creatures. You may laugh, but I chaperone mine out in the yard with their leashes.  No roaming allowed. It’s heartbreaking to hear of lost or killed pets.

  • HeAD CruMBs May 12, 2021 (8:56 am)

    THAT IS NOT A BOBCAT. It’s not a hybrid. It’s not a Savannah. That is typical spotted housecat. Period.

  • Kersti Muul May 12, 2021 (8:59 am)


  • Joe May 12, 2021 (9:06 am)

    Domestic House Cat

  • Avid outdoorsman May 12, 2021 (10:46 am)

    Sorry, not a bobcat! This is a bobcat. Took this picture a couple of years ago in the Elwah area of the Olympic Peninsula.

    • Robert Green May 17, 2021 (9:02 am)

      Wow! I’ve been an avid hunter in Washington State for several decades now and have NEVER seen a bobcat out in the daylight. That is a super rare occurrence, AND IN THE DAYLIGHT!!!!!

  • Marianne May 12, 2021 (10:48 am)

    Savannah cat?  Also looks like an ocelot, but I think that would be very unlikely.

  • Ws 90000 people and climbing May 12, 2021 (1:59 pm)

    Omg wsb you crack me up so much. Haven’t been this amused since someone on here called that west seattle turkey a pheasant.I always let my cats be free to go in in out. They are not stupid irresponsible like a dog. They serve a purpose. Humans bring rats and birds species with as they concur the globe. We ha e cats for the very reason off controlling those numbers. Want to help local bird species look into birdhouse entry hole sizes…the European birds that are driving out local species are are too big for a half in size hole. Human bring death a d destruction to a ecosystem dont punish you cat and make in stay inside like a  stupid irresponsible, all emotions and slobbering dog. Less people that’s the answer society cant just come to grips with. Let’s you cat out…wait dont it will run away because you treat it like a prisoner and then some take a pic and here we are.

  • Xman May 12, 2021 (3:03 pm)

    Looks exactly like my goof Savannah but he’s still at home, underfoot of course. 

  • DogLuvr May 12, 2021 (4:39 pm)

    Why arent cat owners responsible for keeping their cats in their own homes / yards. My neighbors cat nearly lives in our yard. Dog owners dont let their dogs roam freely. 

    • RJB May 12, 2021 (6:41 pm)

      Don’t be judgmental…doggies get out as do kitties. It happens.

  • Troy May 12, 2021 (5:44 pm)

    It is a Savannah cat, a hybrid cat breed. It is a cross between a serval and a domestic cat. It looks to be a F3 or latter cross, meaning more domestic cat than serval. Adult Savannah cats can grow up to 17 inches tall and weigh 25 pounds, depending on generation. First generation crosses (called F1 and F2) are generally larger than later crosses. Later generations are further removed from their wild ancestor, yet retain the colors and patterns of earlier generations—they’re just smaller and a bit more docile. I have been looking into getting one, but kittens can cost $16,000, to much for me. I am surprised some one would let that expensive of a pet loose around the neighborhood .

  • Bub May 12, 2021 (8:01 pm)

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck… it’s not a bobcat.

  • Amy May 12, 2021 (10:58 pm)

    Bless this post and double-bless these comments.

  • Queenie May 13, 2021 (12:12 pm)

    Definitely not a bobcat. That kitty is a large,   domestic cat and surely someone’s beloved, lost pet. Savannah’s are often larger than other typical domestic breeds. Not sure about bengals but perhaps they are too. Either way, still likely a pet cat. Probably hungry and thirsty. Bet kitty would appreciate food, fresh water and a decent human finding it’s people.

  • Molly Whitebear May 14, 2021 (7:08 pm)

    I remember my friend’s ocelot she had years ago. It sure looked like this cat. What a beautiful creature! I hope it’s reunited with its human family soon! 

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