• IUCN Status
    Least Concern.
  • Population
  • Diet
    Carnivore - including small animals such as rodents, birds, fish, and rabbits.
  • Group
    Tend to be solitary animals.
  • Size
    1.2m in length excluding tail which is 0.75m long
  • Continent
  • Lifespan
    Up to 10 years in wild and up to 21 years in captivity
  • Weight
    Males 50-100kg and females 50-60kg
  • Habitat
    Can live in many different types of habitats including, forest, savanna, shrub land, grassland and desert.
  • Scientific Name
    Puma concolor

Meet the Puma


Pumas are incredibly strong and fast predators with long bodies and powerful short legs. The hindlimbs are larger and stronger than the forelimbs, enabling them to be great leapers. They are able to leap as high as 5m into the air and as far as 12 to 14m horizontally. At a sprint, this animal can reach a top speed of about 50 miles per hour. He can maintain a speed of 10 miles per hour for several miles, so he has stamina as well as the ability to run in fast bursts.

The current population of wild pumas is decreasing due to the increasing human population.  In addition, pumas are killing livestock and attacking people and are therefore they are being persecuted and killed. To combat these issues, there is a systematic monitoring scheme in place and a successful ex-situ (captive) breeding program where animals are being successfully reintroduced back into the wild. Education also plays a huge role for the local people teaching them the importance of each and every species and the important roles that they have to play in the ecosystem.



Pumpkin, Endeavour, Demelza & Diego at Wolds Wildlife Park

Did you know?

Pumas are solitary animals except during mating when a male and female will come together for up to 6 days.

Continue reading to learn more about these American big cats.

What noise do pumas make?up arrow

Pumas use whistles, screams, squeaks and purrs to communicate – but are unable to roar

How many names is a puma known as?down arrow

The puma holds the Guinness World Record for an animal with the most number of names. It is commonly known not just as the puma, but also as the cougar and the mountain lion. In fact, the species has got over 40 names in English alone!

Can pumas live at high elevations?down arrow

The puma holds the record for being the cat found at the highest elevation: an individual was seen at 5,800m  in the Andes. However, this is unusual; pumas are generally found below 4,500m.

What colour are pumas?down arrow

Pumas are known as "Cats of one colour!"

Pumas have a thick fur coat that varies in colour depending on their subspecies and location. Their fur ranges in colour from brown-yellow to grey-red. For example, pumas living in colder areas are often grey. In contrast, pumas in warmer regions have a red tone to their fur. 

Is the puma classed as a "Big Cat"?down arrow

Although the puma is one of the largest felines on the planet, it does not have a big cat classification because it cannot roar like lions and tigers. Being able to roar is a distinctive quality of the big cat family.

Pumas are classified as the largest of the small cat category, even thought they may match the size of a leopard.