Jul 11, 2022 - News

Development and drought are pushing bobcats into urban Valley areas

A bobcat kitten hissing in a cage.
Photo: Courtesy of Critter Control of Phoenix

Critter Control of Phoenix has seen an "explosive amount" of calls about bobcats taking up residence in Valley attics.

What's happening: Isaiah Swain, local district manager and wildlife expert, tells Axios his company is getting calls about bobcat mothers and kittens in homes in Goodyear, Ahwatukee, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale.

  • He suspects construction in the outskirts of metro Phoenix is driving wildlife out of their typical habitats and closer to the urban core.

Pro tip: "Do an inspection of your house. Do an inspection of your roof. If there's a small gap, they have a way of digging in from that point," Swain says.

There's more: As bobcats move into residential areas, their predators — namely coyotes — follow.

  • Swain says he's seeing full packs of coyotes in neighborhoods.

Once Critter Control traps bobcats or other animals, they relocate them back to wildlife areas.

  • If they find juvenile animals without a mother, they bring the animals to a rehabilitation center.

Arizona Game and Fish hasn't seen an unusual increase in bobcat calls, but spokesperson Amy Burnett said summer, especially right before the monsoon, is when all kinds of wildlife inch closer to residential areas.

  • They're looking for water, but Burnett warned against leaving water out for wildlife because they'll become trained to stay in urban areas, where they could get hit by cars or get too comfortable around humans.

What she's saying: "The best thing people can do, even if you love bobcats, is to scare them off," Burnett says.

People can also donate to the department's water catchment program, which provides safe wildlife water access during the dry summer months.

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