Difference Between Puma and Cougar (Puma vs Cougar)

puma vs cougar | difference between puma and cougar

The Mountain Lion – Puma

Puma is a big cat species, which is native to America. The body of puma contains dull coats that range from silver-grey to reddish-brown. Pumas have a round face, long tail, and erected ears, the rear of these species is as long as its head and body. The puma is muscular with large and sharp paws and claws.

The hind legs of these species are more extensive than their front legs to give them high jump. The males of these species are referred to as a puma, and females are referred to as she-puma. Puma does not live in packs, unlike other cat species; they are solitary animals and live in large areas by marking their territory with urine or feces.

Puma Facts:

  • They use whistles, screams, and squeaks to communicate with one another as puma doesn’t roar.
  • Puma is misty creatures that hunt during the hours of dusk and dawn.
  • These species are strong enough to drag their prey, which is more massive than its body weight.
  • With its powerful jaws, the puma will champ down on its prey’s neck and kill him, and hide it from other animals. For several days the puma will eat the bit of carcass.
  • The female puma will signal the male that she is ready to mate by rubbing her back on a tree to leave her scent, or she will yowl loudly so the male can hear her.
  • The gestation period in females lasts for 85 to 105 days and results in delivering one to six cubs.
  • The population of the puma is decreasing due to its hunting and killing.
  • The major threats to these species are habitat loss, trophy hunting, road kills, poisoning.
  • Under the IUCN, a puma is listed as least concern.
  • Pumas are protected in many areas, the hunting of these species is legally banned.
  • These species play a very significant role in the environment by keeping the population of lower animals down as pumas feed on carrions.

Cat of The Mountain – Cougar

Cougar is the second largest cat species of North America; cougars are also known as Mountain Cats or Mountain Lions. The coats of cougar vary from grayish tan to reddish hue; the tail is black and has black spots on its ear and face. Unlike puma, cougars are also unable to roar as both the species don’t have the needed larynx. They also communicate using hisses, purr, growls, and screams. Cougars have rounded heads, pointed ears, and slim body. The hinds of cougars are strong, and they also have more giant paws that enable them to curl around and snatch at its prey. 

Cougar Facts: 

  • As cougars are ambush hunters, they hide behind rocks or hills waiting for their victims.
  • Cougars are most active during the dawn and the dusk. Cougars are excellent swimmers but have a poor sense of smell.
  • Cougars are solitary animals; the only female cougar can be seen in a group with her cubs.
  • An adult cougar can be seen in a group while mating.
  • The female cougar will deliver one to six or usually three to four cubs after the gestation of 3 months.
  • Baby cubs are born blind and deaf; after two weeks, they are able to open their eyes.
  • The cubs have spotted body which helps them to blend with grass, bush and mottled sunlight and protect them from their predators.
  • The population of cougars is dropping.
  • Humans are interfering in their territory; as a result, some humans are getting attacked by cougars.
  • Under the IUCN cougars are classified as least concern species.

Difference between Puma and Cougar:

ParametersPumaCougar
Scientific name-The scientific name for puma is Felis concolour.The scientific name for cougar is puma concolour.
Habitat-Puma habitat-
Puma chooses a variety of habitat, such as tropical forests, grasslands, arid regions, etc. they can be mainly found in North and South America.
Cougar habitat-
Cougars are habitat to all types of forests, lowlands, and mountains and can also live in open areas. These species range from northern Yukon to the southern Andes.
DietAn adult puma will feed on larger prey such as deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, raccoons, and coati.Cougar is a carnivorous animal that eats deer, moose, coyote, elk, and badger.
Enemies-Puma enemies-
Bears and wolves are the enemies of a puma.
Cougar enemies-
Although cougars have no natural enemy, bears and wolves are the enemies of a cougar who compete with him for food.
Size-Adult puma can reach 7.9 feet, whereas females reach around 6.7 feet.Adult cougar measures are 8 feet long.
Weight-Adult puma weighs 115 to 220 pounds whereas female weighs 64 to 141 pounds.The average weight of cougar is 150 pounds, and the female weighs 121 pounds.
Lifespan-Puma can survive for 12 years in wild and 25 years in captivity.The average lifespan of a cougar is 10 to 20 years.

Puma vs Cougar

Puma and cougar are the two different names of the same creature- Puma Con color. In South America, these species are known as pumas, while in the western United States, they are called cougars, and in California, they are referred to as mountain lions. Due to the wide distribution of cougars in the north and South America, It holds a record for having the highest number of names; cougar has over 40 names in English. As both the puma and cougar belong to the same species, there is no certain difference between both of them. The appearance, size, weight, habitat, and habits vary slightly in both the species.

Are Cougars Endangered?

Most of these cougars were killed in the 1800s as the result of European immigrants clearing forests. The current status is Least Concern.

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