Named for their stubby tails, bobcats are so elusive that you’d be lucky to catch a glimpse of one in your lifetime.

But just because they keep to themselves doesn’t mean bobcats are safe from human exploitation. Trophy hunters kill them for bragging rights and trappers pursue them for their pelts. Some states allow horrific killing methods—including steel-jaw leghold traps and hounding with packs of dogs. In places where these native cats are protected, trappers and others regularly seek to remove those protections.

wild bobcat in the grass
Danita Delimont
/
Alamy Stock Photo
Truth in labeling?

In recent years, investigators with the Humane Society of the United States have uncovered numerous instances of popular retail stores selling fur-trimmed garments that were incorrectly (and illegally) labeled as “faux.” Make sure your fashion purchases don’t inadvertently reward animal cruelty by following these tips for distinguishing fur from faux.

Did you know?

With a range that stretches from southern Canada to central Mexico, bobcats can be found in nearly every region of the continental U.S. Not much bigger than a large house cat, bobcats don’t pose a public safety threat, but may show up in suburban areas as they lose natural habitat.

A male mink at a fur farm
Jo-Anne McArthur
Jo-Anne McArthur

By taking a stand against the fur industry in refusing to purchase its products, designers will stop using fur, retailers will stop selling it and fashion writers will stop touting it as an acceptable trend.