Natural predators of adult bobcats include cougars, gray wolves, coyotes and large golden eagles. Foxes, eagles and owls prey upon bobcat kittens. In addition, adult male bobcats have been known to prey upon their own young.
Besides natural predators, one of the main predators of bobcats is humans, who hunt them primarily for their soft, attractive fur but also for sport. Adult bobcats are also sometimes killed by the animals they hunt, as they often target prey much larger than themselves. Starvation accounts for the death of many juveniles and kittens. Other common causes of death among bobcats are parasites, such as roundworms and tapeworms, and diseases, such as feline leukemia, feline distemper and rabies.
Bobcats themselves are accomplished predators. They stalk and kill from ambush large animals, such as deer, as well as domestic sheep and goats. They also prey on smaller animals, such as rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, birds, fish and insects. When bobcats kill larger animals, they cover the carcass and return to it again and again to feed. Bobcats have also been known to scavenge on road kill or the remains of animals killed by other predators. They are able to go a long time without food, and when food is plentiful, they gorge themselves.