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Alternative names
Mountain lion
Painted cat
The puma (Felis concolor) is a type of large hunting cat found in North and South America. It is also known by the regional names of cougar, mountain lion, panther, catamount, and painted cat. The term panther is more commonly associated with the black color variation of the leopard or the jaguar.

Hunted almost to extinction in the United States, the puma has made a dramatic comeback with an estimated 30,000 individuals in the western United States. Pumas are gradually extending their range to the east, following creek and river beds, and have reached Missouri and Michigan. It is anticipated that they will soon expand their range over the entire eastern and southern United States. Due to urbanization in the urban-wildland intermix, pumas often come into contact with people, especially in areas with a large population of deer, their natural prey. They have also begun preying on pets, such as dogs and cats, but have rarely turned to people as a source of food.


The Florida panther is a rare subspecies of puma that lives in the swamps of southern Florida in the United States, especially in the Everglades. There is currently a widespread effort in Florida to try to save the remaining population of Florida panthers as their numbers are extremely sparse.

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