Fast Facts: Cougar

Species name: Felis concolor (“cat of one colour”)
Average weight:
60-100 kilograms (male)
35-60 kilograms (female)
Life expectancy:
10-12 years (in the wild)
21 years (in captivity)

Did you know?

The average sprinting speed of a cougar is 56 kilometres an hour!


The cougar is the second largest wild cat found in the Americas, the largest being the South American Jaguar. It has a very muscular body that varies in colour from tawny red to dark brown. The throat, chest, chin and whiskers are white.

Cougars are known for their large front paws and long tail, which is used for balance and can grow to a length of 90 centimetres. Cougars have extremely powerful hind legs, which make them excellent jumpers. A cougar can jump straight up 5.5 metres from the ground.


Cougars tend to roam in areas where they won't be seen, such as rocky mountains or dark forests. They don't usually attack humans unless they feel cornered or threatened. A worthy predator, cougars have a field of vision that spans 130 degrees and can kill an animal four times its size because of its muscular form and stealth. After an attack, it usually buries the carcass and returns later for addition meals.

In one jump, a cougar can launch forward up to nine meters, easily carrying the agile animal over canyon mouths or rocky outcroppings. The average sprinting speed of a cougar is 56 kilometres an hour!


The cougar has one of the largest ranges of any mammal in the western hemisphere. Because of this, the cougar is called around 40 different names, such as puma, mountain lion, and panther.

Most of the cougar population may be found in western Canada, but it has been seen across the Prairies, southern Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

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