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What Eats A Mountain Lion? Top 6 Cougar Predators

Mountain lions are also known as cougars, pumas, or panthers. They are majestic and powerful predators that can be found in the Americas. They are known for their excellent hunting skills and their ability to take down large prey.

However, despite their strength and agility, mountain lions are not invincible. In this article, we will explore the predators and natural enemies of mountain lions, their own methods of self-protection against predators, and much more.

What Animals Eat Mountain Lions? – 6 Mountain Lion Predators

Mountain lions are also known as cougars or pumas. They are apex predators and are not typically hunted by other animals. However, young or injured mountain lions may be preyed upon by larger predators. In some cases, mountain lions have also been known to cannibalize one another.

Some of the known mountain lion predators are:

  • Bears
  • Wolves
  • Coyotes
  • Eagles
  • Mountain lions
  • Bobcats
Cougar predators - Bears


Adult bears can take down a full-grown mountain lion. Bears are powerful and have sharp claws and teeth that they can use to defend themselves against mountain lions.

Cougar predators - Wolves


Wolves are another predator that can pose a threat to mountain lions. Packs of wolves may attack young or injured mountain lions.

Cougar predators - Coyotes


While coyotes are smaller than mountain lions, they do prey, especially on young or inexperienced mountain lions.

Cougar predators - Eagles


Eagles are known to be powerful predators that easily take down small animals. They are not a direct threat to adult mountain lions, but have been known to attack and kill mountain lion cubs.

Cougar showing teeth

Other Mountain Lions

While it’s not common, mountain lions have been known to cannibalize one another. This typically happens when resources are scarce.

Cougar predators - Bobcats


Bobcats are smaller than mountain lions, but they can still prey on young or injured mountain lions. They may also compete with mountain lions for prey.

Can You Eat Mountain Lion?

While some cultures have traditionally consumed mountain lion meat, it is illegal to hunt or kill them for food in most countries. This is due to both conservation efforts and concerns over the potential spread of disease from wild animals to humans.

Additionally, mountain lion meat is not widely available in the commercial market. As such, it is not recommended to attempt to eat mountain lion meat.

How Do Mountain Lions Protect Themselves from Predators?

To protect themselves, mountain lions rely on their agility, stealth, and strong hind legs for jumping and climbing. They also have sharp claws and teeth for self-defense and hunting.

They are solitary animals, which also helps them avoid confrontations with other predators. They typically hunt at dawn and dusk, when their prey is most active, and avoid hunting during the day when other predators are more likely to be active.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Mountain Lion a Predator or a Prey?

Mountain lions are considered to be predators. They are known to hunt and consume a variety of prey, including deer, elk, and smaller mammals like rabbits and rodents. However, as we mentioned earlier, they are not invincible and can be preyed upon by larger predators like grizzly bears.

Can a Grizzly Bear Kill a Mountain Lion?

Yes, a grizzly bear can kill a mountain lion. Grizzly bears are one of the few predators that are large and strong enough to take down a mountain lion. However, these encounters are rare and typically only occur when both animals are competing for the same prey or territory.

Is a Mountain Lion an Apex Predator?

Yes, mountain lions are considered to be apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain in their ecosystem. They have no natural predators in their environment, and their population is usually regulated by competition with other mountain lions or by human intervention.

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