cougar identification


How to identify a cougar

Guide developed by Ranchers Supply. Inc.

The cougar network, Puma Identification Guide ( Note: Official website is down.

The cougar network, Puma Field Guide ( Note: Official website is down.



Cougar encounters

 Saskatchewan cougar fact sheet



Predator attacks on livestock

Rancher's Guide to Predator Attacks on Livestock, Alberta Predator Compensation program



Tracks and strides of felines

Cat comparison chart - snipit 2.png


Tracks and strides of canines

Wolves: 3.5" track width/height, stride 26-30"

Coyotes: 2.75" track width/height, stride 12-15"




Body size:

  • Length: 210-240 cm.
  • Height: 60-90 cm.
  • Weight:
    • Male: 59-73 kg.
    • Female: 36-50 kg.


Unique features:

  • Muscular body type
  • Rounded ears lacking tufts.
  • Back of ears are solid black
  • Smaller head relative to body size
  • Dark markings on the tail tip, and muzzle.
  • White belly including the jaw, throat, and inner side of the legs.
  • Colouration tawny yellow to light gray.
  • Kittens contain spotting and dark patches which disappear with age.
  • Longer snout compared to Bobcat and Lynx.

Cougar 1 - Cosburn.PNGCougar 2 - Cosburn.PNGCougar 3 - Cosburn.PNG

Cougar track 2 - Cosburn.PNGCougar track 1 - Cosburn.PNG




Body size:

  • Length: 76-110 cm.
  • Height: 48-56 cm.
  • Weight: 8-27 kg.


Unique features:

  • Pointed ears with long tufts.
  • Back of ears contain a white spot on a black background.
  • Short tail.
  • Large fluffy paws with fur between toes
  • Coat varies from grey to tan with light-tipped hairs that appear as flecking.
  • Spotting or striping, if present are subtly.
  • Fur is longer surrounding the sides of the head compared to Bobcats.
  • Easily mistaken as a Bobcat.

Lynx-Dallas shrunk 233x268.pngLynx-Lindsay.jpg

Lynx Tammie 1.jpgLynx Tammie 4.jpg





Body size:

  • Length: 48-120 cm.
  • Height: 36-38 cm.
  • Weight: 6-15 kg.


Unique features:

  • Pointed ears.
  • Back of ears contain a white spot on a black background.
  • Short tail.
  • Ear tuffs are shorter than Lynx
  • Paws are smaller with less fur between toes.
  • Approximately twice the height of a housecat.
  • Coat pattern vary from orange to brown, containing spotting patterns with stripes on the face, and subtle stripes on the legs, but can also be solid in colouration.
  • Fur is not as long surrounding the sides of the head compared to Lynx.
  • Easily mistaken as a Lynx.






Body size:

  • Length: 150-180 cm.
  • Height: 80-85 cm.
  • Weight: 22-45 kg.


Unique features:

  • Pointed ears
  • Solid coloured body coat
  • Long snout
  • Fluffy tail
  • Leaner in appearance compared to cougars.

Dion Regan.jpgDion Regan 2.jpg






Body size:

  • Length: 60-90 cm.
  • Height: Up to 30 cm.
  • Width: 1.8-2.7 kg.


Unique features:

  • One of the largest members of the mustelid (weasel) family.
  • Small head approximately the same width as the neck.
  • Short legs compared to a long body.
  • It travels quickly though bounding instead of running.
  • The tail is approximately 1/3 of the body length


Fisher - Google.jpg


Martin tracks.jpg 

Pine marten tracks (a smaller sized mustelid compared to a Fisher)