Mountain Lion Facts



  • The scientific name for a mountain lion is Puma concolor, which loosely translates to describe a cat with one color.
  • Mountain Lion, Photo Courtesy of Bill Lea

    Photo courtesy of Bill Lea

  • The mountain lion has many common names including cougar, puma, catamount, panther and ghost cat.
  • Adults typically weigh 90-160 pounds with a robust tail that can be one-third as long as the cat’s body.
  • Mountain lions are a large cat with short tawny brown fur and a lighter white underbelly.
  • Animals commonly misidentified as mountain lions include coyotes, bobcats, housecats, dogs and white-tailed deer.
  • “Black panthers” exist only as the melanistic (black) phases of the leopard (Panthera pardus) in Africa and Asia, and the jaguar (Panthera onca) of Mexico and Central and South America.
  • The nearest known reproducing populations of western mountain lions are in Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas.
  • In recent years, young male mountain lions dispersing from their home ranges in search of new territory have been confirmed in Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri.
  • The presence of a lone mountain lion does not mean the area has an established population.
  • Report a suspected mountain lion to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife by calling the department’s Information Center during weekday working hours at 1-800-858-1549 or by emailing