Difference Between Cougar and Mountain Lion

By: | Updated: Nov-28, 2021

Cats are cute, sweet and cuddly animals. Many people like to keep them as pets and they are often called house cats. However, there are also other types of cats that are found in the wild. These cats are called cougars and they can be found in different parts of the world.

Summary Table

Cougar Mountain Lion
Larger Smaller
Have thick, woolly fur Have shorter fur
Reddish-brown or reddish-black Has a shade of brown

Cougars are generally considered to be dangerous animals because they can be aggressive and they tend to hunt for their food. They are also territorial and they will defend their territory. In some parts of the world, they are considered to be a protected species.

In addition, there are also different types of cats that are considered to be similar to cougars. These cats are called mountain lions and they are also found in different parts of the world. However, these cats do not have the same characteristics as cougars.

Difference Between Cougar and Mountain Lion

So what is the difference between cougars and mountain lions? What are the characteristics of these cats? Why are they considered to be dangerous animals? This article will provide you with all the answers to these questions.

Difference between a Bobcat and a M... x
Difference between a Bobcat and a Mountain Lion

In this article, we will discuss the difference between cougars and mountain lions. We will also take a look at the characteristics of these cats and we will also discuss the similarities between these cats.

What is a Cougar?

Cougars are large felines which belong to the genus Puma. These cats are found in North America and South America. They have big bodies and short tails. They have large ears and eyes. Cougars have sharp claws which help them climb trees easily. Cougars also have a beautiful coat which consists of a dark colored undercoat and a lighter colored top coat.

Cougars are known to be solitary animals. They are also very secretive animals. The cats are carnivores and they are considered to be excellent hunters. They hunt for deer, elk, antelope, bison, moose and many other animals.

Cougars are also very dangerous animals. They have powerful jaws which help them kill their prey quickly. Cougars are also known to be very strong animals. They can easily carry the prey and then drop it on the ground. Cougars also have very strong claws which help them to climb trees easily.

What is a Mountain Lion?

Mountain lions are members of the Felidae family. They are also known as cougars, pumas, panthers, and catamounts. They are mainly found in North America, Central America, and South America. These cats have been described as being larger than any other cat species. The males can weigh up to 200 pounds and the females can weigh up to 180 pounds. These cats have a very short tail that can be no longer than 4 inches.

The coat of these cats is a tan color with a white belly and paws. The fur on the head, face, and ears is dark brown. These cats have large ears that can measure up to 12 inches in length and they also have large, rounded eyes that are black in color.

Mountain lions are carnivores. They feed on deer, sheep, goats, bighorn sheep, elk, and domestic animals. They also eat rodents, rabbits, and birds. These cats will kill a large number of animals each year. The most dangerous prey for these cats is a young calf.

How are They Related?

Before we start discussing the differences between cougars and mountain lions, it is important to understand the relationship between these two cats.

Here are some similarities between cougars and mountain lion:

  1. The Genus

Cougars and mountain lions are different types of cats belonging to the same genus, Panthera. The species of these cats are Puma concolor and Puma yagouaroundi respectively. These cats belong to the same genus, but the classification of these cats are different.

  1. Appearance

Cougars and mountain lions have similar appearances. Both of these cats have long bodies, muscular necks, thick legs and sharp claws. The heads of both cougars and mountain lions are rounded with large eyes. The tails of these cats are short and muscular. The coat of these cats is mostly dense and spotted.

  1. Diet

Cougars and mountain lions are carnivores. They both have a high protein diet. They feed on animals like deer, rabbits, raccoons, rodents and small animals.

  1. Behavior

Cougars and mountain lions are very territorial. These cats mark their territory by spraying urine and depositing feces. They also make loud roars to scare away other animals. These cats also roar when they feel threatened.

What are the Differences?

As you know, cougars and mountain lions are two different types of cats belonging to the same genus, Panthera. However, these cats have different characteristics. Here are some differences between cougars and mountain lions:

  1. Size

Cougars are larger than mountain lions. The average length of a cougar is around 40 inches and the average length of a mountain lion is around 30 inches. The head of a cougar is also larger than that of a mountain lion.

  1. Physical Characteristics

Cougars have long tails, while mountain lions have shorter tails. Cougars have sharp claws, while mountain lions have curved claws.

  1. Colors

Cougars have brown, reddish-brown, or reddish-black coats. Their coats can also be spotted with white or black patches. The color of a mountain lion’s coat is a shade of brown.

  1. Coat and Hair

Cougars have thick, woolly fur. Their fur is also longer than that of mountain lions. Cougars have large ears and their eyes are also larger than those of mountain lions.

  1. Diet

Cougars have a varied diet. They will eat a variety of different animals, including rabbits, deer, elk, and bighorn sheep. However, they are not very selective when it comes to their food. They will also eat small mammals, birds, and fish. Mountain lions have a diet that is similar to that of cougars, but they mostly eat smaller animals.

  1. Habitat

Cougars prefer to live in mountainous areas. They also prefer to live in forests and open grasslands. Mountain lions prefer to live in forests, and they also like to live near rivers and streams.

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