Difference Between Cougar and Mountain Lion

Wild animals are an important part of the ecosystem, their presence might frighten humans but that would not decrease their importance. Wild animals like lions, bears, foxes, etc are extremely important fauna.


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Some animals resemble each other in context to their face shape, body shape, feature, etc. this is because they belong to the same species or same animal family. For example the cat family, it includes cats, lions, cheetahs, tigers, etc.

Sometimes one animal is given different names for example mountain lions, they have given different names according to the regions they have been found in. For example, puma, cougar, mountain screamers, etc..

Cougar vs Mountain Lion

The difference between cougar and mountain lion is their names in different regions. Cougar and mountain lions are the same species, the only difference between them is the name given by people of different regions.

Cougar vs Mountain lion


Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCougarMountain Lion
Other namesPuma, mountain lion, etcPanther, cougar, etc
DietSmall insects, deer, etc.Mules. Moose, etc.
AppearanceWild and giantMore fierce
HabitatLowland,forest, etc.Wetlands, deserts, etc.


What is Cougar?

Cougar is an animal who is part of the cat family. They are generally found in forests, they adapted to habitats like lowlands, all kinds of forest, mountainous deserts. They generally prefer to live underbush, or precipitous canyons.

Cougars have round heads and erect ears, they have solid bodies with tawny colored coats. Their look gets complete with a whitish underside and slightly dark hair covering the back. Their paws are large, and built with muscular hind legs.

Cougars have the capacity to jump up to 18 feet from trees and jump up to 20 feet from mountains, as they have more powerful hind legs than forelegs. They also have a flexible spine which enables them to jump on their prey easily.

Cougars are generally 5 feet long along with around 2 or 3 feet tail. Male cougars can weigh around 115 to 220 pounds, whereas female cougars can weigh around 65 to 140 pounds easily. Their build is heavy as compared to other animals of the cat family.

Cougars are carnivorous animals thus they find their prey in the forest. Animals like deers, sheep, horses, cows,etc.. Cougars found in the northern region also prey on animals like small insects or other small animals like rabbits, raccoons, etc..

The male cougars often leave after mating and the female cougar is left with cubs for parenting. The mortality rate is high and cubs after two leave the family behind.


What is Mountain Lion?

Mountain lions are part of the cat family. They are wild animals found in forests, they are dispersed from Canada (Yukon) to the Southern Andes in South America. They are the most  wild animals of the cat family.

Their appearance is somewhat similar to the cougar, probably because they are the same animals but the slight difference may occur due to their dispersion in different regions.

They have large and powerful built, and they are heavy too. The fundamental features are the same.

Mountain lions are said to be dangerous; one of the distinctive features is that they cannot roar; they scream, which is why they are often referred to as ‘mountain screamers’. They are also known as ‘concolor’ due to their plain color.

Mountain lions are said to have wrl Guinness book record of having the most number of names,

the reason for giving different names to one type of animal is that they are vastly distributed and thus people of different reigns have given them different names, which often creates confusion as well.

They can be distinguished from other members of the cat family by their larger paws and hind legs, especially in their childhood. Cubs have spotted skin with blue eyes and rings on their tail. Their cubs leave after two years.

Their diet includes almost all the animals irrespective of their size, their prey generally includes animals like mule, white tail deers, elk, moose, etc..

Mountain lions are so dangerous that they even sometimes break necks of their prey to kill them before eating.    

The population of mountain lions has been decreasing due to hunting thm in the name of rancheer’s livestock. If it continues like this it might be a human and animal conflict. Which could lead to disasters in future.

mountain lion

Main Differences Between Cougar and Mountain Lion

  1. Cougars and mountain lions are said to be  similar or same, they have slight differences in their physical appearance.
  2.  Cougar and mountain lions are found in different regions.
  3. They are given different names by people of different regions.
  4. There can be slight differences seen in cougars and mountain lions on the basis of their diet and types of animals they hunt on . This is because of the availability of different animals in different regions.
  5. The hunting techniques might vary due to change in regions. 
Difference Between Cougar and Mountain Lion


  1. https://www.astm.org/DIGITAL_LIBRARY/JOURNALS/FORENSIC/PAGES/JFS13811J.htm
  2. https://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol27/iss1/15/
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