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What Do Mountain Lions Eat? All About Their Feeding Habits

As a member of the large cat family, mountain lions are also known as panthers, cougars, pumas, and catamounts. Every living thing needs to feed for survival. The type of food mountain lions eat at a time depends solely on their habitat.

Their food ranges from small animals and rodents to larger animals like deer. In this article, we’ll answer most of the lingering questions you may have regarding mountain lions and what they eat.

What Do Cougars Eat? – The Mountain Lion’s Diet

Cougars’ main diet is animals. They can feed on rats, rabbits, raccoons, deer, bighorn sheep, and other large prey. They can eat any of the abovementioned animals based on what they find available in their habitat and during hunting.

The Mountain Lion In The Food Chain

The mountain lion is a tertiary consumer on the food chain. They are on level four of the food chain because they feed on other animals, which makes them carnivorous.

Also read: Are Cougars Friendly? Do They Have Feelings and Show Affection?

Are Mountain Lions Carnivores or Omnivores? (And Do Cougars Eat Plants?)

Cougars are strictly Carnivores. They feed solely on the meat of other animals. One of their favorite prey is deer. They can also feed on other prey in their habitats, like rats, rodents, and elk. They do not feed on plants or any vegetation.

What Do Mountain Lions Eat In The Desert?

Mountain lions are majorly opportunists. They feed on their prey like livestock left outdoors unprotected. They also wouldn’t hesitate to eat any other animal they find in the desert except bears because they are cougars’ natural enemies.

Cougar eating meat

How Much Does a Mountain Lion Eat?

There is no direct answer to how much a mountain lion eats; it all depends on the size of the prey. When they hunt down bigger prey like deer or bighorn sheep, they can eat it for up to a week or more.

When and How Do Mountain Lions Hunt?

Cougars hunt at night while silently stalking, aiming, and pouncing on their prey from behind. They grip the prey with their teeth from behind their spinal cord from an angle where their prey are most likely not going to escape or survive.

Mountain Cougars are powerful and fearless. They do not need to go hunting in packs. The mountain lion goes hunting alone at night to find his next prey. They hide behind and between trees as they silently wait and search for the next prey to ambush.

How Often Do Lions Eat? Do They Eat Daily?

Mountain lions feed every three to four days. However, the reason for the difference in the feeding days between the lions depends on the size of the prey they had eaten.

How Long Can a Mountain Lion Live Without Food?

Mountain lions spend most of their time sleeping and resting. Therefore they can survive a long time without food. They can go for as long as a month without food as long as they can have water to drink.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Mountain Lions Eat Owls?

Yes, mountain lions can eat owls. However, owls fly while mountain lions do not. While mountain lions can eat owls if they get hold of one, the owls may fly away before the mountain lion gets a hold of them.

Do Mountain Lions Eat Berries?

No, mountain lions don’t eat berries. Berries fall under the category of fruits, and mountain lions mainly eat meat from animals that they hunt for.

Do Mountain Lions Eat Snakes?

No, lions do not eat snakes. Because of the mountain lions’ large appetites, they do not hunt and eat snakes, most likely because they do not have enough meat to satisfy them, hence a waste of their time and energy.

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