Skip to main content

Large Cats of North America

Cougar North American wildcat
Cougar - photo ucumari

Large Cats of North America must embrace both domestic and wild cats. Of the domestic cats there is one "stand-out" large domestic cat. Individual Maine Coon cats can reach 25 lbs (11 kg). Although 7.3 kilograms (16 lbs) is about the average. If you've got a story about a large Maine Coon you might like to share it by making a comment. The figure of 25 lbs though is very much exceptional. Most large Maine Coon Cats weight about 20 lbs. Even this figure puts this domestic cat in the middle rank for size of the world's wildcats. A lot of the wildcats are quite small and of a size very similar to domestic cats today.


Large Maine Coon cat
"Shooter" photo copyright Wendyophoto

The Maine Coon is American through and through. There are no other domestic cats of North America that I can think of that are as big. The American Bobtail is a larger than average domestic cat weighing in around 5 kilograms (about 11 lbs). The American Shorthair is quite a large domestic cat too at an average of about 11 lbs. The Ragdoll is probably the next biggest cat after the Maine Coon. The Ragdoll weighs on average about 14 lbs (6.3 kgs).

So, what about the wildcats of North America? The Cougar is the largest of the North American Wildcats weighing in at about 200 lbs for males. Cougars are also called Panthers, Mountain Lions and Pumas. The name comes from a Native Indina word " meaning "False Deer", apparently. The largest North American wildcat is then ten times larger than the largest domestic cat from the same region. I think this is more to do with practicalities than anything scientifically significant.

The most common North American wildcat is the American Bobcat. This cat has a size and weight a little larger than the biggest North American domestic cat at 13.3 kg (29.3 lbs). However, if you include tamed wildcats as domestic cats (such as the Serval an African cat) this wouldn't be the case, obviously.

Another wildcat from the region is the Canada Lynx. She lives in the woodlands of Canada and Alaska and weighs about 23 lbs on average (10.4 kg). This is not really a large wildcat but nonetheless might qualify as one of the large cats of North America.

A full list of wildcats said to be found in the USA is as follows:

1: Puma
2: Bobcat
3: Jaguar ("vagrants" close to Mexico)
4: Jaguarundi (Texas - possibly extinct)
5: Canada lynx
6: Margay (uncertain)
7: Ocelot

Sources:
  • http://www.bigcats.com
  • http://www.oberlin.k12.oh.us/talent/isp/reports2001/hayleywildcats.html (thanks Hayley - nice article)
  • Myself
Large Cats of North America to Home Page

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti