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Don't Get Eaten Alive! How to Avoid a Cougar Attack

Updated on October 4, 2013

Not That Kind of Cougar!

Now before we get started on the subject of 'how to prevent a cougar attack' let me assure you at the outset I'm not talking about the popular name for an older woman who has set her sites on younger men. That is a different type of cougar altogether!


No my little chickadees, I'm referring here to the beast, the animal, the Canadian wild-cat who roams about in British Columbia and other places, I'm sure, depending on his travel-itinerary, and if seen staring at you with a look in his eyes as if he is thinking 'now there's a nice tenderloin for my lunch!'....then you are in big trouble.


That kind of cougar.

Sudden Confrontation with a Cougar Can Lead to Death or Worse!

To a cougar you are simply 'game' and if you are outdoors and see one of these mammals approaching aggressivley with a rapid running gate you will need to know some guidelines as to the best way to be in control (or at least the best way to avoid or reduce the chance of ending up inside his stomach) as that could be unpleasant causing extreme and severe discomfort to you to say the least. The cougar is a hunter. If a lady, she may have a litter in the immediate region to protect and may want to bite you. In fact there is no limit to what she is capable of when picks up your smell and decides she wants to chew on your leg for example.

Sign alerting you to Cougar Country!

sign saying 'cougar in the area--beware!'
sign saying 'cougar in the area--beware!' | Source

Facts about Cougars

Sometimes referred to as a mountain-lion, the cougar is the largest cat in Canada, aside from certain house-cats I've seen who's owners insist on feeding them so much they have to be air-lifted just to go outside to use the 'facilities' . Cougars can be distinguished mainly by their lengthy tails, which equal 1/3 of their total length, measured head to tail (if you can get close enough to pull out a measuring tape and check.)

These massive wild-cats feed mostly on deer, so don't, whatever you do, go prancing around your backyard wearing antlers! I know you want to, but resist the impulse.


  • An adult cougar of the male variety, verges on 70 to 90 kg but after dining on you, will weigh considerably more. It depends on your body-to-fat-ratio.
  • These cats also enjoy eating sheep (main course) and rabbits (a light snack) grouse and sometimes livestock when they are feeling 'peckish' and want something out of the ordinary.
  • Cougars are most active at dusk and dawn, however these animals can hunt pretty much any time of the day or night,should the whim to kill something strike their fancy.
  • Another fact about cougars is that in late spring and summer, one to two-year old cougars grow to become independent of their mothers and then do nothing, (I imagine) but talk to their friends on Skype. This is fairly universal in teenagers everywhere.


What to Look for:


Let's say you are out hiking, in some lovely tract of country and you notice ahead of you, some tracks in the mud which look somewhat like the following illustration:

This is a clear and present sign of danger and if you have any sense at all you will not proceed down that trail whistling, as you have been doing, the Happy Hiker Song but instead, start to walk backwards, slowly, and carefully, so as not to attract attention unless of course you are looking forward to the experience of being eaten alive so you have something interesting to write in your diary. Personally I favour retreat in all such cases, as the best option which will allow you to make it home in one piece and just in time to watch Dancing with the Stars in HD with all the doors and windows locked.

Now let's look at another sign of imminent cougar attack--you see one --a mother in fact with her cubs. This is one of the best signs I know that there is a cougar in the area and a very dangerous one at that. It may look cute and you may feel inclined to go over and pet the kitties, perhaps even play with them for awhile. If so, please call home on your cell phone, and tell your wife not to hold dinner for you. 'Someone is having you for dinner' tell her. That's no lie.

If indeed you find yourself face-to-face with such a critical-cat, who is always thinking the worst of you such as you want to harm her children or perhaps you want to deny them their 'din-dins'? What to do? Well, I'm assuming you don't know how to fly, or become invisible, so in that case you have only one option...holding your walking stick in front of you to defend yourself, should Momma Cougar decide to put her ideas about you into action, you slowly retreat. Retreat is the keyword here. Reverse your direction. Creep away in a retrograde direction. In other words, vamoose.

If you are brave, you could say something in a calm and steady voice. "Nice kitty. I think you are sooo beautiful. Well, I'll be going now. Hope to bump into you again sometime..." That sort of thing. She will appreciate your confident tone and as opposed to screaming, crying,screeching and yodeling 'O God I'm dead now!' it is preferable.

If you are really, really brave, you could do what is called 'enlarging your appearance' as some animals take this a sign not to approach. Puffing out your chest, mussing your hair into a puffed-up bouffant look, picking up a long branch and waving it about to make certain the cat knows not to mess with you or he is in for a whopping. It just might make her think twice. Let's hope so.


Finally,there are still a few precautions you can take should you live in cougar-country should a big-cat start lurking,stalking or creating apprehension in the vicinity of your home by just walking by.



Cougar Warnings and Cougar Tips:

  • if there is a warning of a cougar in the area, and you have kids, don't allow them to go out and play hide and seek.
  • don't let your doggy out for any reason. He will likely see it as his duty to protect you and yours from the monster with the long tail and he won't have any qualms about it. *unless he is a pug dog. In that case he will sensibly run for his life and leave you to fend for yourself.
  • don't leave meat left-overs outside in the garbage. freeze them in the freezer until garbage day. If you don't have a big enough freezer to do this, become a vegetarian.

The other kind of cougar ;)

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