Conservation through Education

Skip Navigation LinksHome | The Animals | Cougar


World of Cougars (Purring Cats)

Common Name:        Cougar

Genus/Species:         Puma concolor


From southern Canada south to Patagonia in southern South America. Found from sea level to 16,000 feet.

Natural Habitat:

Typical habitat is steep, rocky canyon country but can also be found in jungle swamp areas and desert plains. Known to live in temperatures of ‑40 degrees to 100+ degrees.

Physical Appearance:

Physical appearance may slightly vary depending on geographic area. Males are larger than females, otherwise appearance is similar. Adult males are 7-9 feet long, including the tail. Males weigh approximately 140-200 pounds, females 85-125 pounds. Cougars are light brown, tawny, and in a few cases, black; spots on side of muzzle; dark hair on tail tip; lighter on underparts. They have acute vision and hearing. Ears are round and erect and move to focus on sounds.


Breeding is non‑seasonal with most births occurring in summer. Females usually have young every other year. Two or three (but sometimes 6) cubs are born after a gestation period of 91 ‑ 95 days. Cubs are weaned at 4 ‑ 6 weeks, accompany the mother in her home range for about 2 years, then disperse into a broader range as "floaters" in search of unoccupied territories.

STATUS in Natural Habitat:

Threatened to Endangered depending on geographic region

Cool Fact:

Cougars have over 200 names because they inhabit the largest geographical region of any other cat in the World.  Other names for the cougar include: mountain lion, panther, puma, catamount, American lion, screamer, painted cat and fire cat.


Click Here For Daily Activities Schedule

  © Copyright 2020 Zoological Society of Washington and Cougar Mountain Zoo