What Do Cougars Eat?


What Do Cougars Eat?

Because these enormous cats are so stunning, the cougar’s cage is a frequently visited location at zoos and animal enclosures. You probably feel your heart race and a chill run down your spine as you stare into their enormous eyes. Your subconscious is all too aware that the animal you are looking at is a hazardous species that can quickly overwhelm you and other creatures up to 500kg, which causes your human instincts to come into play.

Due to their widespread distribution, cougars, which are members of the Felidae family, are also well known by a number of other names, including puma, mountain lion, panther, and catamount. The habitats that pumas choose to reside in have lots of underbrush and rocky areas where they can stalk their prey.

What Do Cougars Eat?

What Do Cougars Eat?

The variety of animals that cougars like hunting is enormous. Here’s a brief list of some of their preferred foods.


The prey that cougars consume lacks sufficient liquids to support these creatures. To keep themselves hydrated, they still need fresh water. Cougars can do without water for a few days, but eventually they will need to hydrate.

Large Animals

Although they consume a variety of huge animals, cougars seem to prefer deer because it is the one they catch most frequently. Although they enjoy all deer species, cougars have a special affinity for mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and bull moose. Typically, these enormous cats will only kill one animal at a time and then relax for a few days before going out hunting again.

Small Animals

Cougars will also concentrate on hunting lesser animals if huge game is not readily accessible. Numerous smaller species, including rabbits, rats, porcupines, foxes, mice, and raccoons, are hunted and consumed by these cats. Many people think that one of their favorite tiny creatures to eat is the beaver.

If they are extremely hungry, cougars will also hunt other predatory animals like coyotes. These large cats are extremely fond of livestock including sheep, goats, small calves, turkeys, and poultry, yet they may also prey on domestic animals like cats and dogs.


Additionally, cougars like to consume insects. When animals are living in severe settings with little access to prey, insects can be a significant source of protein. grasshoppers, certain beetles, crickets, and a few other species of insects that they might see crawling around.


These creatures favor recent kills and fresh flesh, but if they are unable to make a kill themselves, they will consume carrion. It is common for cougars to take over the carcasses of other predatory species, and they may even hunt on other predators while doing so.

Diet Variations

The major dietary distinction among cougars is that they occasionally eat insects. Other foods, such plant material, cannot be digested by these animals. They will starve if they don’t have animals to eat.

It’s not uncommon to see cougars and other cat species eating on grass. This behavior’s origin is yet unknown. Some people think that cats just like the flavor and feel of grass. Others think that eating grass gives them the folic acid nutrients they require. Additionally, some people think that cats chew on grass to induce vomiting as a way to relieve uncomfortable stomach problems.

How to Feed Cougars

How to Feed Cougars

These animals often only take the life of one other animal. However, if they come into a sizable herd, they might kill several animals as a result of getting overexcited. Even though they may only feed on one animal at a time, they have been known to slaughter enormous quantities of animals at once.

Normally, animal carcasses are left out for these animals to eat as food. In zoos, carrion meat is frequently provided to cougars as food. On very rare occasions, cougars may even be given live bait, such rabbits.

What do Cougars Eat in the Wild?

These creatures favor rocky settings in the wild where they may blend in with their surroundings. Almost any animal of a size that cougars can find will be caught and eaten. Any young members of large animal species, any tiny animals they happen to come upon, and any birds they could grab are all fair game. Additionally, they consume flesh from carcasses that they may come across.

What do Cougars Eat in Captivity?

These animals are often fed a balanced diet of poultry and other foods while in captivity. Poultry is a great food source because it’s simple to find hens, but these animals can be fed almost any other kind of meat that might be accessible in the area.

What do Baby Cougars Eat?

Cubs are the name for young cougars. They might also be referred to as kittens by some individuals. Since they are mammals, they are dependent on their mothers to survive. Three to four cubs are typically born by female cougars. Born blind and deaf, the cubs. Up until they are old enough to begin exploring their surroundings, they will spend many weeks in their nursery.

For seven to eight weeks, cougar pups or kittens must nurse from their mothers. They will then begin to consume small bits of the prey their mother brings back to the nest. After they have been weaned for two to three months, they begin to hunt with their mother, where they learn how to find their own food.

These creatures mature between the ages of 3 and 5, however they start to separate from their moms at the age of 2.

How much do Cougars Eat?

These cats need a lot of food because they are rather large. An adult mountain lion needs 8 to 10 pounds of meat on average per day. They can go without food for a few days at a time but then binge on more meat at one meal.

How often do Cougars Eat?

Cougars favor daily feeding. Even if they are not overly hungry, they will put themselves in danger to hunt and eat because they like the thrill of the chase. However, in captivity, they are typically fed every two to three days to give the animals adequate time to digest their meal.

Do Cougars Attack Humans?

Even if they do come across a person, these creatures are not particularly inclined to harm them. However, mountain lions may attack people if they feel threatened, frightened, or territorial about their dens or nurseries. Even if cougars aren’t extremely hungry, running people could trigger their natural hunting impulses. They are extremely harmful to people because of their instincts.

Do Cougars Eat Snakes?

Normally, cougars do not hunt on snakes. However, if they are famished or want to, they can eat snakes. All types of foods, including snake meat, are delicious to these large cats. A cougar may very well try to grab a snake despite the dangers of their deadly bites if there is nothing else to eat.

Do Cougars Eat Plants?

Typically, these creatures don’t consume any plants. They do not digest plant stuff properly and require a lot of protein to survive. On occasion, you might notice them gnawing on grass leaves, though. But it’s still unclear why they nibble on grass.

Do Cougars Eat Birds?

Yes, cougars enjoy eating poultry and birds. They have the ability to leap up to 18 feet in the air, which they use to scale fences and grab flying birds. Additionally, they are quick climbers and may readily access nests to eat chicks.

Do Cougars Eat Mice?

Yes, cougars occasionally prey on mice and other tiny animals. If larger animals are not available, mice are a valuable source of food. Even if they are not extremely hungry, cougars are very likely to attack mice because they like the thrill of the chase.

Do Cougars Eat Bobcats?

Other predatory animals have been recorded to be consumed by these huge cats. Due to their superior physical strength, they may also be able to capture domestic cats and bobcats.

Do Cougars Eat Domestic Cats?

Yes, domestic cats and even dogs are eaten by cougars. However, they do not particularly enjoy eating domesticated animals. Your domestic pets are significantly less likely to be the target of these cats than your livestock.


Are cougars afraid of humans?

Experts argue that cougars are mostly terrified of us and do not view us as potential prey. Debra Chase, CEO of the Mountain Lion Foundation, is one such expert. Sometimes, though, people manage to trick them. Attacks by cougars can occur when people move quickly, including when they run or ride bicycles, which makes them appear like prey.

How do you scare a mountain lion?

Slowly wave your arms and make a firm, loud statement. If getting bigger doesn’t scare the mountain lion away, try tossing rocks, branches, or whatever else you can reach at it without stooping or turning around (e.g., toward it, but not directly at it).

Will a whistle scare off a mountain lion?

The most important trails have sharp turns, but I advise all outdoor enthusiasts to carry a $2 whistle and/or use a horn. On a bike, blowing the whistle periodically (and at every turn) will help you avoid having a surprise meeting with wildlife. Apr 12, 2019

How do you scare away cougars?

Make noise by shouting, whistling, or blowing an air horn. If you have an umbrella, turn to face the cougar and swiftly open and shut it. Never get close to the cougar. Give it plenty of room to escape; don’t corner it.

How likely is a cougar to attack a human?

But these could be the explanations for why this one did. It’s not just unusual; the fatal cougar assault that occurred over the weekend in Washington State is practically unheard of.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author