Felines are fascinating to learn about, and cougars are one of them. So in this article, we’ll be learning about this feline.
Cougars aren’t as threatened as other big cats. (Tigers, leopards, cheetahs, etc.) Around 30,000 cougars exist in the American West. There can be 1-7 cougars ranging in about every 38 miles. Male cougars tolerate several females within their home range. The IUCN Red List marks cougars as ‘Least Concern’ as of April 2014, but sadly it’s numbers have been declining. Cougars range from Canada to Patagonia, South America. They can be found in areas varying from the desert to thick forests. Cougars prefer to live away from humans, in dense vegetation or cover to stalk prey and raise young. They may leave an area is something disturbs them, but they’re still very territorial. A male’s territory can range from 50 to 150 square miles!
Next is the cougar’s appearance. An adult male cougar weighs around 60-80 kilograms and 240 centimeters in length. An adult female cougar weighs smaller than a male, approximately 40-50 kilograms. An adult cougar’s appearance includes a tawny brown color with white around the muzzle. They also have a tail of the same color with a black tip. When still cubs, cougars have spots on their pelt.
Cougars have a lifespan of 8-13 years in the wild. The females reach sexual maternity in about 1 1/2 years. They come into heat regularly during the year but the females normally only deliver a litter every 2 or 3 years. Cougar cubs are born defenseless, with their eyes closed. They have spots on their pelt that fade as they get older. Cougars nurse their young for around three months, but the cubs are still reliant on their mother until they’re two years old. A male cougar will kill any kitten they find on their own, even if they’re the father of the kittens. Sadly, an average litter only ends up having one cub survive to adulthood. Even a grown-up cougar has a low chance of surviving a long time. A cougar living in the wild has a life span of 8-13 years, but a captive cougar can live up to 19 years.
Like the other felines and big cats, cougars are carnivores. They seem to prefer to eat deer and other animals that are a similar size but will also hunt animals like squirrels and rabbits or mice and birds. Cougars rarely hunt mammals like moose and elk as they risk getting injured more gravely if they try to attack such a large animal. A cougar usually lies hidden in wait and then leaps out and tackles their prey. Once a cougar has their prey grasped, they will swiftly maneuver toward the animal’s head and bite its neck. With smaller animals, a cougar may bite the dorsal side of their neck to provide a quick death but larger animals are gripped on the throat and strangled.
I hoped you liked learning about cougars!
The Feline Queen