Categories: Jaguarundi

Are jaguarundi dangerous to humans?

Are jaguarundi dangerous to humans? Under nearly all circumstances in the wild jaguarundis are not dangerous to humans as they are small wild cats. They’d normally run a mile from humans. There have been no records of humans being attacked by a jaguarundi in the wild as far as I know. My reference book tells me that they weigh between 3.7 and 7 kilograms. This is between 8.2 and 15.4 pounds. This weight range is similar to that of the domestic cat.

Jaguarundi. Photo in the public domain.

The jaguarundi is the least marked of all the small wild cats; apart from a few faint markings on the face and belly, it short, sleek fur is uniform in color…. – Mel and Fiona Sunquist in Wild Cats of the World.

In order to provide a complete answer, there are occasions when domestic cats are dangerous to humans such as when they are badly provoked and forced to attack. The person might be bitten and scratched and the injury may become infected and the infection may become very bad if not treated.

So, small wild cats can be dangerous under certain circumstances and therefore so can the jaguarundi. But it is very unlikely that you’d meet a jaguarundi in the wild. They live in the wild and the density of their distribution is low. You’d be damned lucky to see one even if you did live in an area where they lived (parts of Mexico, Central and South America).

In captivity a careless zoo keeper might be scratched or bitten by a jaguarundi. The injury would be similar to that inflicted by a domestic cat. Perhaps a little more severe.

But in the normal course of events and taking a common sense approach when in an area where there are jaguarundi, they certainly are not dangerous to humans. They will not attack but avoid humans. Humans are not the prey of jaguarundi. Far from it. It is the opposite. They attack prey such as rats.

Perhaps some people are getting confused about the size of this small wild cat because of its name. It might give the impression that it is like a jaguar, a far larger and potentially dangerous wild cat species. Rest assured that the jaguarundi is not dangerous provided people are sensible and don’t provoke when in close proximity.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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