Coastal Red Bobcat, Jungle Cat, Asian Leopard - Comparaison
by Carol Ann Brewer
Coastal Red Bocat [zoom]
Jungle Cat [zoom]
Asian Leopard [zoom]

Okay, if you have all three together where you can see them...

let's start with the most obvious characteristic,the muzzle. Notice that the bobcat has an extremely wide muzzle, as compared with the other two, the Jungle and the Asian Leopard. Not only is it wide, but it is also deep, thus giving it the soft diamond shape. It is equal on all sides of that soft diamond, isn't it. And the black markings in the hair AROUND the top and bottom of the black lips is quite dramatic, not to be seen in the other two wild cats. The Bobcat also has strong markings in it's whisker pads, quite unlike the other two wild cats which are void of any dark markings in their muzzles whatsoever. Now you can see that the Asian Leopard has a ROUND look to it's muzzle. It is extremely white without any markings in the white, as I previously mentioned, however, on both sides of the muzzle, behind the white it is VERY dark marked, far darker than any bobcat would have. It corresponds to the dark markings on the body, very black, having no ticking to mute it. Look at the markings on the head, as compared with the bobcat...it just follows that way everywhere. Even the white gives off a round look to the muzzle. The chin has short hair on it, as compared with the Bobcats longer hair on the chi It might be a bit difficult to see that since the Bobcat's head is slightly tipped down, as compared with the Asian Leopards but you can still tell that the hair is quite different. Now look at the Jungle Cat's muzzle: Oh my gosh, what a difference again, from the Bobcat and the Asian Leopard! The muzzle has an entirely different shape, more in line with the entire head, making the entire head wedge shaped. The muzzle has a rather pinched look to it, even the chin is narrower than that of the Bobcat, and the whisker pads are small and turned DOWN, as is the mouth, having a turned down appearance. The whisker pads have NO markings on it. The most interesting thing about the Jungle Cat's muzzle is that it protrudes in an unusual fashion from the face...notice that under the eyes, beside the nose, the face goes down from the eyes almost straight down...it almost looks scooped out beside the nose, under the eyes, as compared with the Bobcat, who has a nice bone under the eye that is above the muzzle. The Jungle Cat has a very sad look as compared with the Bobcat's happy, smiling large muzzle. Remember the song from Pocahontas? She talks about asking the pretty bobcat why he grins...The Bobcat's mouth grins, the Jungle Cat's mouth is sad and the Asian Leopard has no expression..it is without any at all.

Next, let's look at the head shape...as you know the Bobcat has a pear shaped head...it is in no way a wedge, as are the other two cats...the Asian Leopard and the Jungle Cat. They are both clearly wedge shaped, because of their narrow muzzles. The bones in the Bobcat's face, just beneath the eyes also contribute to a different shape, making it truly more pear shaped not only looking down from the top but also from the sides....there is a completely different shape because of these special bones that the Asian Leopard and the Jungle Cat do not have. You can see how the bones beneath the eyes are not protruding in the Jungle and Asian Leopard Cats.

The eyes are something special to study....the bobcat has smaller and deeper set eyes than do the other two, in comparison with their heads. The Jungle Cat has smaller eyes than does the Asian Leopard, whose eyes are very large and quite protruding in comparison with the Bobcats. The Jungle Cats eye are kind of in the middle between the Asian Leopard and the Bobcat, still too close to the front of the face, in other words, not deep set enough. Look at the bone in the Bobcat's face again and then see how deep the eyes are set. The bobcat has a brushier brow than do the other two, with the Asian Leopard's eye on top slanting upward, not flat at all. The Asian Leopard has a deep green color to it. The bobcat has only a deep gold (I also call it dog brown) or an icy gooseberry gree This has been seen in many bobcats and lynx. The Jungle Cat here has light green eyes, but they are not of the icy quality that we get with our cats, I think of it as almost the color of an unwashed green grape, with that slight hue to it. The bottom of the Asian Leopard and the Jungle Cat's eyes are rounder than that of the Bobcat's, whose bottom of the eye is slanted upward while the top is rather flat, in compariso The Asian Leopard has a narrow strip of white in the corner of the eyes and on the bottom of the eyes, while the Jungle Cat has no white...it is just slightly lighter tan/gold in the corner of the Jungle Cat. But the Bobcat has a very thick white strip on the bottom of the eyes and in the corners. This is very difficult for us to get and keep but we have done it and so, because there is nothing else in those lines that would produce such a look, we can know assuredly that it's a bobcat trait.

Now let's look at the upper part of the face/head, the area above the eyes. Interesting to note how different each cat is marked, with the Asian Leopard having the traditionally strong "beetle" marking, in black, flanked by dark lines on either side, the Jungle Cat has little markings there above the eyes, just two lines, quite muted, and yet the Bobcat has nice markings that resemble, to me, to sets of parentheses, the outer parentheses being darker, the inner is lighter. There are a few pixiebobs who are finally getting this marking over their eyes...again, unable to be achieved from either the Asian Leopard or the Jungle Cat. Normal domestic cats have a straight or mostly straight M on their foreheads, but the Bobcat does not have an M but rather two sets of parentheses...or one set, the outer one...still, always curved, NEVER straight. Never an M. The bridge of the nose is fascinating between the breeds. The Jungle Cat's bridge is very narrow, and ridged, as you can see...as you look down the length of the nose, it is definitely ridged, or rounded and narrow. The Asian Leopard Cat has a slightly wider nose than that of the Jungle's narrow bridge, but it is the same width all the way down from between the eyes to the end of the nose. The Bobcat, in contrast, has a VERY wide bridge, and is not the same width all the way down to the nose leather.

In fact, the Bobcat's nose is slightly rounded, very, very wide and marked with dots on either side, near the nose leather, which is very brick in color, a dark brick. The Jungle Cat's nose leather is a pinker hue and so is the Asian Leopard's. Also, the shape is quite different between the breeds...the Asian Leopard has the "puffiest" nose leather, it is large, rounded and quite over the end of the nose, going upward. On the contrary, the Bobcat has a nose leather that is not curving up over the nose...but is more blunt on the end. It is large still and has a puffiness to it but nowhere near what the Asian Leopard has. You can really tell the difference between these two breeds. The Jungle Cat has a nose leather somewhere between the Bobcat and the Asian Leopard. Because it is very ridged, or narrow and rounded all down the nose bridge, at the end of the nose, where it meets the nose leather, one can easily see the actual ridge shape to the nose. This would not be found on a Bobcat anywhere that I have see

The ears are very different between the breeds, with the Asian Leopard having the smallest, rounded ears, set at quite a low angle and are tipped forward; the Jungle Cat having the largest ears, having eartipping, but being very tall and yet more narrow at the base, and being set fairly high; the Bobcat has ears that are smaller than the Jungle and larger than the Asian Leopard, with the ears being very wide at the base, quite unlike the other two breeds we are comparing AND greatly tipped and slightly rounded at the top. The Asian Leopard's ears are far more rounded at the top and the Jungle's ears are more pointed at the top. It does not have ears that are cupped looking, as they are too shallow, narrow and short to give that appearance. The description of the 3 cats' ears is as follows: Asian Leopard; short in height, round and narrow, tipped forward. The Jungle, tall in height, tipped and slightly rounded on top BUT narrow at the base, which does not make for a good cupped appearance. The Bobcat; medium in height, very wide at the base, cupped and tipped, being only slightly rounded on top. All three breeds have white to cream markings on the back of their ears...thumbprints, however, they are all different in shape. The Bobcat's is that of a soft triangle.

The Bobcat, the Asian Leopard and the Jungle Cat all have a very wild look, far different than that of a normal domestic cat, however, it is the look of the Bobcat that we seek, and none of the traits of the other two wild cats we have compared with the Bobcat. When studied, we find that there are no similarities between the three wild cats...thus we need to be careful not to breed out the Bobcat appearance, substituting for it, the look of another breed.

© Carol Ann Brewer, February 2003