Cougars, the big, majestic cats of the wild environments. They’re fast, dangerous predators who tend to live in mountain areas, and today we’re going to learn more about them.
These huge, wild cats can live up to 12 years, although there’s a probability of them getting to live longer in captivity, where they are far away from their natural predators.
How long do cougars live?
Cougars are natural predators, meaning they’re on top of the pyramid, with very few other animals being capable of hurting them. However, cougars aren’t known for their longevity.
These wild mountain cats tend to live anywhere from 10 to 12 years. These numbers can vary or go up if they happen to live in captivity; same applies for female cougars, which can live longer than males ones.
Again, the cougars are natural predators, meaning they usually die for one of two reasons: one, they have been attacked by other cougar, or two, the prey attacks them back during an attack.
How long do cougars live in the wild?
Like we said before, cougars tend to live anywhere from 10 to 12 years in the wild, although female cougars are expected to live longer, reaching up to 15 years.
The reason why cougars don’t get to live as much as you’d expect, even when they’re huge, smart predators, is due to three main factors:
- They often attack each other, getting wounded.
- Their preys can turn on them as a defense mode during a regular attack.
- Hunting as a sport has significantly had an impact on their population.
Other than that, cougars don’t have any natural predator that can hurt them, and they’re actually protected by the World Conservation Union, which makes it illegal to sell or trade the specimen or any of their parts.
It is important to mention that the cougar isn’t a specie that is in danger, actually, even when they are being hunted, their population number is doing just fine, and they are not considered as an endangered animal.
How long do cougars live in captivity?
When it comes to living in captivity, cougars get to live up to 20 years (and in some cases, they can live even more), due to proper care and an optimus environment.
Cougars in captivity maintain the same diet they do on the wild, meaning they are fed with enough meat. Keep in mind, the cougar usually catches the prey that matches them on size and weight, which why, during captivity, they must be fed with a large amount of meat that meets their usual diet in the wild.
It is important to mention that cougars are considered as exotic mascots, something they are not. They are wild animals who need to be fed large amounts of meat, have enough space to move around and being able to run around freely (meaning they need lots of outdoor space).
Life expectancy of the cougar according to the species
North American cougar (Puma concolor cougar)
From 8 to 13 years in the wild (can live up to 20 years in captivity).
Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi)
From 10 to 12 years in the wild (can live up to 20 years in captivity as well).