Spot the elusive creature lurking in East Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Local 8 News Reporter Robert Grant spoke to a man who has seen bobcats on his property through his trail cameras.

Officials say many people often confuse bobcats with house cats.

So, how can you tell a difference?

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provided the following facts about spotting bobcats:

Early Life
Bobcats have an average litter of two to four kittens. Bobcat kittens typically weigh between 10 to 12 ounces at birth and are born blind and helpless. Bobcat mothers nurse their kittens for about 60 days.

Bobcat Tracks
The claws on bobcats are retractable. Bobcat tracks in adults reportedly have an overall round appearance with four round toe pads in both front and rear prints.

Sounds of Bobcats
Wildlife experts observed that bobcats are usually quiet, but may give high-pitched screams or low growls.

Bobcats become more vocal during breeding season.

Characteristics
According to the TWRA, bobcats are excellent runners, climbers and swimmers. They have incredible vision and hearing along with a good sense of smell.

The average size of a bobcat is 24 to 40 inches long with a weight ranging from 10 to 40 pounds.

Tails of bobcats are much shorter than the tails on domestic cats. The tail will be the same color as the back of a bobcat with several faint dark bands lining the tail. The underside of the tail is a whitish color.

A bobcat's hair is short and dense usually colored anywhere between a reddish brown bluff to gray. The underbelly of a bobcat is white with black spots. Multiple black bars line the inside of the fore legs.

Where are the Bobcats?
Bobcats usually den in hollow logs, caves, brush piles and rock crevices. Female bobcats may line their dens with dry leaves, moss, or grass.

The TWRA reports that bobcats are territorial and have large home ranges.

Bobcats are most active just after dark and before dawn. Wildlife experts described bobcats as "very secretive, solitary and seldom seen by humans." According to the TWRA, bobcats rarely cause conflicts with human activities.

Bobcat Eating Habits
Bobcats are strictly carnivorous. They prey upon rabbits, rodents, bird and deer.

TWRA says bobcats waste a considerable amount of meat and often kill more than they can eat. They usually cover their kills with leaves and grass to eat later.

Find more information about bobcats from the TWRA HERE.