the mountain lion, puma, panther or cougar, is the
largest feline of North America. Once native to nearly every state, today it is found in the
western states, Texas, and Florida. Many people in the
eastern states and throughout the south see what they
believe to be cougars in the wild. So many sightings
have been reported that biologists are now seriously
considering that the cougar is making a comeback into
its former habitats.
In addition to the US and Canada, cougars are native to Mexico,
Central and South America. The felines in captivity are
descendents of orphaned wild cougars. Zoos and
brokers have imported cougars from South America as
well, and there used to be a lot of South American
cougars in captivity. Today, it seems that cougars are
hybrids of North and South American genetics.
In the 1980’s and early 1990’s many facilities bred cougars,
including NOAH Feline Conservation Center.
Unfortunately, Game and Fish agencies, communities and
states began passing legislation to prohibit the private
ownership of cougars. As this happened more and more,
private owners had to give up their cougars to
sanctuaries. Breeders had fewer options for dispersal
and many went out of the breeding business and retired
It is unfortunate that the cougar, which is an intelligent,
loving and devoted feline is so misunderstood.
Cougars are not suitable to be around small children.
Cougars require an owner who understands their special
dietary and environmental needs, and who can provide a
proper enclosure and mental stimulation worthy of such a
At NOAH we provide our cougars with primary enclosures that
average 1000 to 3,000 square feet. These roofed cages
have towers that allow the feline to climb up and rest
at various levels. Attached to the primary cages, we
have fenced grassy areas for them to play and exercise
in. Fencing is 10 feet tall with a 2 foot recurve at the
top and an electrical hotwire at the eight-foot level.
Cougars can average between 60 and 200 pounds at adulthood. They
eat about 3 to 5 pounds of meat a day. We feed chicken,
Beef, horsemeat, deer and beaver, with Wildtrax vitamins
and calcium carbonate added.
NOAH presently houses three cougars, but does not breed this
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Feline Conservation Center
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