Bobcats live in just about all regions of the United States as well as southern Canada and central and northern Mexico, although the northern United States has the most bobcats. The bobcats' natural habitat is basically anywhere, in part because of the variety of their prey, which includes raccoons, mice, rabbits and deer. Quite territorial, these cats take up residence in canyons, mountains, swamps, forests, steppes and chaparral, but their preference is a site that features rugged cliffs or outcrops and dense vegetation. Sometimes they appear in suburban areas next to human dwellings, but this is quite rare.
Adequate shelter is a crucial factor when a bobcat chooses a place to live. Without shelter, the bobcat lacks a place to rest or to flee to when danger arises. One bobcat is likely to set up multiple hideouts, with smaller niches in places that the bobcats visit less frequently. Examples of these hiding places include caves, hollow logs, stone ledges, dense undergrowth and caves.
As of 2014, bobcats are not considered endangered, but the reduction of available habitat through suburban sprawl means that their future is not bright. Studies indicate that the current bobcat population is just about 1 million, although the work of coyotes and hunters are bringing populations down as well.