How long do cougars live And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on July 4th, 2022

The giant cat species known as the cougar, often known as a puma, mountain lion, or panther, is indigenous to the Americas. Besides the belly and chest, clothed in whitish-gray fur, mountain lions are huge, tan cats. The tip of the tail, the ears, and the area around the nose are all black.

House cats and cougars have similar body types. However, cougars are much larger. They have round heads with pointed ears and thin bodies. From head to tail, they range from 5 to 15 meters (15 to 27 feet). Males can weigh up to 68kg (150lb), while the maximum weight for females is about 45kg (100lb).

angry jaguar

They are swift, dangerous carnivores that like mountainous terrain. These enormous wild cats have a lifespan of up to 12 years, but given their isolation from their natural predators in captivity, there is a chance that they may live longer. 

Habitat and behavior

Cougars prefer to forage in places like rocky mountains or deep forests where they won’t be observed. They rarely attack people unless they sense a threat. A worthy predator, cougars, can kill an animal four times their size due to their powerful build, stealth, and 130-degree range of vision. In addition, it frequently buries the corpse after an attack and returns later for another prey. 

A cougar can leap up to nine meters forward in a single leap, easily transporting the prey. In addition, a cougar can sprint at an average speed of 56 kilometers per hour. 

Cougar’s diet

Mountain lions are cunning hunters who like to hunt at night. They frequently wait for prey or pursue it silently before pouncing from behind and biting the animal’s spinal cord to death. In addition to smaller animals like domestic pets, cattle, and even insects, they frequently prey on deer when necessary. Mountain lions are strict carnivores, like all cats, and they hardly ever eat plants.

Cougars can also leap over 6 meters and easily climb (20 ft). A cougar hides the carcass of a huge animal after killing it, then consumes it over the following days. 


From the Canadian Yukon to the southernmost point of South America, the cougar has the widest range of terrestrial mammals. Cougars live in the western part of the country and expand eastward beyond Nebraska, the eastern borders of Colorado and Texas, and the western edge of the Dakotas.

The cougar is recolonizing the Midwest as its range extends eastward. It is commonly known that cougars traverse great distances in pursuit of new lands. The latest confirmed sightings in Tennessee may result from transitory cougars’ extensive exploratory journeys and this range extension. 

How long do cougars live in the wild?

As we previously mentioned, cougars typically live between 10 and 12 years in the wild, while female cougars are thought to live up to 15 years. Even though they are powerful, intelligent predators, cougars don’t live longer for three main reasons: 

  1. They frequently engage in combat with each other and suffer injuries that may be fatal.
  2. During a routine attack, its victim may turn on them in a defensive posture. 
  3. Their population has been seriously impacted by hunting as a sport.

The World Conservation Union genuinely protects cougars, making it illegal to sell or trade the animal or any of its parts. Aside from that, cougars have no natural predators that can harm them. However, cougars are not a threatened species.

How long do cougars live in the wild?

Cougars can live up to 20 years in captivity and, in exceptional instances, live even longer. This is because the nutrition of captive cougars is identical to that of their wild counterparts. Because cougars typically hunt prey of the same size and weight as themselves, they must be given a lot of meat in captivity to replicate their normal diet.  

The life expectancy of the cougar according to the species

North American cougar (Puma concolor cougar)

From 8 to 13 years in the wild (can live up to 20 years in captivity).

Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi)

From 10 to 12 years in the wild (can live up to 20 years in captivity).

Fun fact

They are unable to growl, unlike other huge cats. Instead, they hiss, growl, scream, and purr like house cats. Mountain lions are solitary and territorial animals. They mark their territory with pheromones and bodily markers like claw prints or feces. 

How do they communicate?

The cougars use a variety of verbal, postural, olfactory, visual, and postural channels to communicate. These predators can growl, snarl, and hiss while they are vocalizing. Cougars are observed to be quite silent when compared to other large animals since they rarely communicate vocally. This single member of the Felidae family cannot roar. 


What class of animal does a cougar belong to?

A member of the Felidae family of mammals is the puma concolor.

How old is a full-blown cougar?

Until 18 to 24 months old, cougar kittens depend entirely on their moms. During that stage, cougar mothers impart essential hunting techniques and how to choose suitable prey. Cougar cubs grow to full size between the ages of 3 and 5. 

How large do cougars get?

Mature male cougars often weigh 110 to 160 pounds, while adult females typically weigh 95 to 105 pounds. Males rarely weigh more than 175 pounds. However, there have been rare verified occurrences of males weighing more than 200 pounds in other states. 

What animal hunts a cougar?

Predatory mountain lions do not threaten the cougar. There are no native predators of cougars. However, they can clash with these animals due to their competition for resources with grizzly bears and gray wolves. 

Is a jaguar a cougar?

After the tiger and the lion, the jaguar is the world’s largest, strongest, and third-largest cat. The cougar is right behind the jaguar in terms of size and weight. The term “black panther” is frequently used to describe black jaguars.

Are puma and cougar the same?

The giant cat species are known as the mountain lion, often referred to as the cougar, puma, panther, or catamount, and is indigenous to the Americas. 

Do cougars travel alone or in groups?

Typically solitary animals, cougars live alone. However, the adult-sized cougar of a female cougar might be mistaken for a pack of cougars. A female spends 13 to 18 months with her kittens. 


Big cats called cougars are indigenous to North, Central, and South America. They can sprint over short distances thanks to their powerful, athletic build and do horizontal and vertical leaps. These enormous wild cats have a lifespan of up to 12 years and, depending on several conditions, are projected to live up to 15 years. 


Editorial Staff

Our writers, editors, content managers, and SEO specialist. We all take part in crafting amazing articles. We spend hours ensuring that each article is based on facts, researched, and thorough. You'll never want to click the back button to look for more answers other than here!