In this article, we’ll answer the question:
“What do mountain lions eat?”
First, you’ll find a short summary of what mountain lions eat in nature, then get a list of a mountain lion’s favorite foods that make up a typical mountain lion diet. And finally, answers to common questions about mountain lion feeding habits and nutrition.
Mountain lions are large cat of the subfamily Felinae in the suborder Feliformia. A mountain lion goes by many names, including puma, cougar, catamount, panther, and painter.
What Do Mountain Lions Eat?
Mountain lions eat various animals, including small rodents, such as rabbits and raccoons, and larger animals, such as elk or bighorn sheep, but their preferred prey is deer. A mountain lion’s diet is determined by the availability of prey in its habitat.
Mountain Lion Diet (Favorite Foods)
- Bighorn sheep
How Often Does a Mountain Lion Eat?
A mountain lion often eats every three to four days, depending on the size of the prey. The feeding habits of mountain lions differ from other lion species because they bury their prey and eat off the remains for nearly two weeks.
How Much Do Mountain Lions Eat Per Day?
Mountain lions eat around eight to ten pounds of meat per day, translating to around 48 deer-sized animals per year. Since mountain lions bury their prey under leaves and debris, they can attack and kill animals more than they can eat in a single day.
How Long Can Mountain Lions Live Without Food?
Mountain lions can live up to a month without food, but the duration is shorter without water supply. Mountains lions can survive for long days without food because they spend their day resting and sleeping.
Do Mountain Lions Eat Dogs?
Mountain lions do eat dogs and other domestic animals that are easy prey in their habitat. However, while it is possible for mountain lions to attack and eat dogs, it is not a common occurrence in the wild.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, mountain lions primarily eat deer but also eat pets, such as dogs and dogs, and livestock.
Do Mountain Lions Eat Humans?
Mountain lions do not eat humans as natural prey and a mountain lion eating human remains is abnormal behavior.
In a New York Times article, it reports that “a mountain lion attacked a runner along a trail in Colorado and inflicted non-life-threatening injuries.” Therefore, mountain lions are not actively out to hunt and eat humans for food.
Do Mountain Lions Eat Each Other?
Mountain lions do not eat each other unless there is a need to defend territory. In this case, a mountain lion may attack, kill, and even cannibalize rival mountain lions and their cubs.
What Animals Eat Mountain Lions?
Mountain lions are prey to a few different species.
You can visit our other guide on what animals eat mountain lions to find out which predators actively feed on these mammals.
Moutain Lion Eating Habits and Diet Summary
You now know what do mountain lions eat in the wild as well as the typical food in a mountain lion’s diet.
As you discovered in this guide, mountain lions are carnivores that prey on various species for nutrition with a mountain lion’s favorite food being things like deer, rabbits, and elk.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.