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Cougars as Pets  

Eminent Member

Hiya, peeps :lol:
I'm here with a bunch of inquiries. Do any of you here own Cougars? I read somewhere on this forum that Cheetahs and Cougars are the most laid-back of all big cats. Back when I was in Canada, I had a close call with a Cougar in the wild once :shrug: Anyways, I've been obsessed with Cougars and Wolves since then (I dunno why??? I'm supposed to be scared of Cougars after this near-death experience!)
My great-grandfather used to hunt Tigers to protect his village. Although I'm impressed by his bravery, I'm not exactly proud of my heritage.
I'm a future conservationist with Tiger hunters as my ancestors???
I was really upset when I found this out. But you can't change the past :roll:

It would be really nice of you to answer my questions! Cougars aren't native to Bangladesh, but I think I wanna start with this if I ever decide to own big cats. Currently, I'm focusing on smaller exotics.

1) Has your Cougar ever displayed signs of aggression?
2) I read on Pat's website that black bears should be handled from an early age to ease them up to humans. Does this apply to Cougars, too?
3) Are Cougars really one of the most laid-back of all big cats?
4) What does living with one feel like?
5) Do you know any reputable breeders?

Please answer my questions...I need a bunch of insights into big cat ownership, although I don't plan on owning one right away.

Posted : July 23, 2017 1:28 pm
Noble Member Pats Friends

I don't own a cougar, but "laid back" compared to other big cats isn't saying much, other than they would probably be less inclined to suddenly react to something. I'm sure you've seen videos of people walking cheetahs or cougars on leashes or people being inside an enclosure with them. That doesn't necessarily render them more "tame" than another large predator; they can still harm people just as much. A cougar would be living in a large outdoor enclosure, so I wouldn't really consider "living with" them to be anything other than maintenance, providing enrichment and feeding. Maybe physical interaction with the animal if you raised it, but it's not like you would be cuddling and playing with them every day.

Considering the large amount of effort you'd need to put into buying, raising, providing for and keeping a cougar in captivity would not warrant it a pet in the typical sense. I don't usually hear people refer to large, exotic, predatory animals as "my pet cougar/wolf/cheetah".

Also, exporting such an animal (especially a baby one in order to hand-rear it) from the USA to another country would be a huge headache. :shrug:

Pet parent of Emo the border collie mix and Namira the domestic shorthair cat

Posted : July 23, 2017 1:54 pm
Admin Admin

I have no first-hand experience with cougars, but I have listened to lots of exotic cat owners, so take my answers with a grain of salt.

1) Any exotic cat may show aggression. It's important to learn their triggers and to read their moods in order to avoid aggression.

2) Yes, cougars should be handled from an early age. Bottle-raised is best. This helps create a bond with the animal and imprints them on humans.

3) From what I have heard, yes. They are transparent with their moods. They're considered to be the "entry level" large exotic cat *for people who have worked their way up to them.* I always believe someone without experience who wants to own large cats should definitely start out with small exotics. This teaches them to read their animals, and even though they're a separate species from a cougar, there are lots of things that translate over. Big cats require a lot of prior experience with smaller exotics and small exotic cats.

4) Wish I knew. 😉

5) I do not like to give out the names of big cat breeders until I know that person better. It also helps protect the breeder from animal rights activists who may also stumble upon this thread. I know that in the Animal Finder's Guide there were some cougars for sale. I have the issues saved, so could always look back and see if I can find somebody. The best way to find a breeder is to stick around in the community for a while, get to know people--and eventually you WILL meet people and make the right connections. Join exotic animal classifieds, websites, forums, and groups. That'll REALLY help you find people. Most breeders may not want to ship outside the US due to the extra paperwork and time involved, plus only weaned animals are allowed to be shipped--but probably for the right price you could convince one of them to do so.

I'm Fable and Ifrit's mommy. Also mommy to Carousel, Breeze, and a bunch of snakes, lizards, and spiders. Oh, and one amphibian!

Posted : July 23, 2017 5:06 pm
Prominent Member

I know a woman with a cougar, and I want to mention what she has stated as the biggest problem, which I've seen manifest itself with raccoons - accidents.

When an individual who weighs 400+ pounds tries to play with you, hug you, or express some frustration to you, injuries occur. It can't be helped. What would be a few scratches from a 15lb
cat is a major injury from a 400lb cat. With no malice whatsoever, a misstep can cause a grave

It's the same with raccoons, who routinely injure me, completely by accident. The jaw strength,
the teeth, the claws. It's another level, and the risk of accidental injury is so great that I'm not
sure we can share space with big cats. :/

Posted : July 23, 2017 7:33 pm
Admin Admin

I knew someone who had a cougar that let her be there when she gave birth. Still wasn't a house pet though an had her own enclosure.

There was a guy in FL who had one from before they weren't regulated and she went on boat trips with him and such. Which is, of course a huge risk, as Ana said. If it weren't for the public mentality to ban everything dangerous, I'd be all for people taking their own risks like that but now it's risky for everyone when one person does something.

But back to topic they are said to be the one of the least unpredictable cats along with cheetah but yeah size means there is always a real risk there.

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Posted : July 23, 2017 9:13 pm
Noble Member

I worked with them for a few years. In comparison to the african lions, they were a lot more predictable, but "cuddly" is not a word I would apply to them. Their body language was a lot clearer.
As everyone said above, they do need to be handled from an early age. Preferably pulled from the mother and bottle fed in order to gain a stronger bond to humans. You would be amazed at what a difference this makes.

Posted : July 25, 2017 6:57 pm
New Member

I am definitely not a cougar owner, but these animals are laid back from bigger cats. I have had interaction with cheetahs before and they can definitely be aggressive when they feel threatened. They will show their teeth and hiss. This didn't happen to me, but to another man that was definitely bothering him. With any of these types of animals you have to know a little bit about what is going on. The cheetah I met didn't really want human interaction, he just tolerated it. He may have purred when being petted, but minutes later he was up and walking away. They are truly incredible creatures and I would compare the interaction to almost a spiritual experience for someone like me. I don't have any experience with cougars, but I would recommend them over cheetahs.

Posted : October 18, 2018 11:25 am