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What Kind of Animal is This?

Updated on April 19, 2016

What Kind of Animal is This?

What do you think? What do you see that may change your answer? It is said that it was taken from a trail camera, and the answers have been rather least to me.

My Visual Analysis

Okay. At first glance, it looks like a house cat looking out of a window. But two things strike me: 1: This cat seems to be coming into a space that is open but not necessarily windowed; and 2: The shape and color of its legs and feet.

This is a large cat, and does seem to be in a remote area with an open man-made structure, but not necessarily a house. I also have prior life experience with bobcats, as I used to live in the mountains and one time a bobcat got trapped under our porch with our dogs. I have also worked with them in a wildlife rescue setting. While I am not a zoologist or even biologist, I look closely at specific details.

For A Comparison

Head and Feet

The above picture is one of a wild bobcat. Its head structure and feet are similar to the almost silhouetted picture that was on the original post. The hind legs have a similar shape, as well as the markings on the legs. The size of the feet are also much larger than a regular house cat.

The Stripes on the Legs


Comparing the stripes and spots on the bobcat's hind legs in particular with that in the original picture, there are similarities in the markings.


Based on what I know of bobcats and visual analysis, I would conclude that the picture is that of a bobcat.

Analyzing more than simply the main figure itself but also the surroundings of what the camera captured can provide huge clues what we are looking at. This is a great teaching and learning exercise to see if you can see "beyond what's there." The challenge sometimes, however, is that sometimes we see things that aren't really there, or that there isn't evidence of. It's an excellent critical thinking exercise and one that can be used for any person of any age. :)

What Do You Think?

Do you think that the original picture is that of a bobcat, a house cat, or another kind of cat? What makes you think so? Leave your observations in the comments below.


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    • IvoryTusk profile image

      IvoryTusk 21 months ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      I agree, it's really hard to tell if it could be a pet cat. I really appreciate you looking at the picture and being just as uncommitted to having a specific answer! :) It could be either/or...who's to say?

      I would love to find the person who took this picture and have them tell us more about it! :)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      yeah, it looks alike a bobcat or a pet cat

    • IvoryTusk profile image

      IvoryTusk 22 months ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      That's the fun of it! I can be completely wrong! I like that it seems like it looks straightforward, but it's trickier than it should be! Best trick question ever!

    • Sneha Sunny profile image

      Sneha Sunny 22 months ago from India

      It might be a bobcat. But maybe a domestic cat? It sure fits the description you gave about the bobcat. I can't tell for sure. :)