The Puma – also called the mountain cat or kougar. The puma is spread across America, where it is found in North, Central and South America. The puma can be found in many different habitats. It is found, for example, in coniferous forests, mountains, tropical rainforests, swamps, on grasslands and in dry crater areas. The puma must live in areas where there are suitable prey and good hiding places.
Facts about the cougar
|Location:||North, Central and South America|
|Life expectancy:||8-10 years|
|Size:||95-195 centimeters long|
|Food:||Predators, eating meat|
|Funfact:||Can jump up to 5.5 meters up a tree|
The puma has a solid yellow-brown coat. The puma has incredibly strong and muscular legs. With them, it can jump up to 5.5 meters up into a tree. The cougar’s tail is used to keep its balance when climbing and jumping. The hind legs of the cougar are longer than the forelegs. The body is 95 to 195 centimeters long, while the tail is 65 to 75 centimeters long. The cougar is approx. 60-70 centimeters tall, and has a weight of between 36 to 103 kilos. The female is generally smaller than the male. The puma is especially fond of its long canines, with which it kills prey. It also makes use of its very sharp claws, which are usually kept inside but emerge as a spring knife when it has to climb.
The puma is a predator. It thus eats only meat. The meat comes mostly from large mammals such as deer and elk. In addition, it also eats meat from cave hedgehogs, raccoons, beavers, hares, rabbits, marmots, rats, mice, birds and even locusts. The puma prefers fresh meat above all, and therefore rarely eats carrion. Despite the puma’s relatively small size, the puma is the feline that hunts the largest prey. The cougar hunts by sneaking into its prey and jumping up on the back of it. It can also run the prey up on a short sprint. At the end of the sprint, the puma strikes the paw, causing the prey to lose its balance. The prey is then killed by a bite in the neck, so that the neck is broken. The prey is not eaten at once, and can be stored for up to several days in its hiding place by either a rock crevice or a dense shrubbery.
Cougars have a very precise mating season, which is between January and March. When the female is in heat, she leaves some scent traces, by spreading urine on trees, etc. Males can thus smell when the female is in heat. The female’s heat lasts for a few days, where they can mate up to several times. The female is after mating, pregnant for a little over 3 months, after which she gives birth to 2-3 pups, and very rarely up to 6 pups in one litter.
The young are born in spring or summer, and are placed in a protected rock cave or in a dense shrubbery. The pups suckle with their mother until they are 3 months old. When they are about 6 weeks old, they replace the milk with meat. Puma pups have spots. They have it until the age of 6 months, after which they then become solid brown like the mother. The female gives birth to pups every two years, and becomes sexually mature when she is 2.5 years old, and males are sexually mature when they are 3 years old.
The puma is not a herd animal, and therefore lives alone. The cougar is only seen with other cougars during the mating season. Both sexes have territories that they guard. The way they mark their territory is by making scratch marks on trees and scent tracks on the ground and in the snow. These scratch marks tell other cougars that this area is occupied. The cougar is most active at sunset and sunrise, but they also hunt day and night.
The puma is a cat, and is thus a member of the cat family. The cat family consists of 37 different species. The cat family is divided into two groups, namely “big cats” and “small cats”. The puma belongs to the little cats – even though it is not that small even. In this family there are also small cats such as ozaloe, red lynx and feral cat. The puma is often also referred to as kougar or mountain lion. Under the big cats you will find animals such as the lion, leopard, cheetah, tiger and snow leopard.
Travelers’ questions about the puma
Is the puma roaring?
No – the puma can not roar
In many other felines you can hear them make a roar, but this is a trait you can not find in the puma. The cougar may sound like many others, but roar is not one of them. On the other hand, it can growl, hiss and issue a funny bird-like call. The puma also spins like the domestic cat we know in Denmark. In addition, it also emits a human-like scream during the breeding season. It sounds really funny when it comes from a cat, where the scream can quickly be confused with a human scream.