HomeWild Cat SpeciesPumablack mountain lionBlack Cats in Kentucky.

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Black Cats in Kentucky. — 45 Comments

  1. Nancy:
    I know how you feel because everyone doubts what you saw. I’ve had two on my property since forever it seems. There’s more now and i have to ask all of these nay-sayers what they’re willing to give for the carcass of one of these beautiful felines, as proof?

  2. I live just across the Ohio River from Ky in a very wooded area and I’m part owner of a farm in Ky. And I have been a hunter most of my life. I saw a black cat here in southeast Ohio a few years back. I had a black cat come into my yard that was just as friendly as it could be. I fed it and had it in the house for a while. It looked to be a full grown cat but still young maybe a year old. I took it outside again and I heard a growl like the sound a large house cat can make only MUCH louder. The cat I had just been petting took off like a rocket to toward the sound. I didn’t know what to think at that point. A little while later I walked up my about 150 yards and saw the cat I had in the house again. It walked across the trail in front of me. Then I heard something behind me in the brush. It was making a good bit of noise so I turned around. I saw a cat that stood about 24″ tall run across the trail. It was not a mountain lion. It had very long legs and a slender body. No way it was a cougar/panther/mountain lion. I know what they look like. And yes it was black.

    My brother told me about a similar cat not far from where I live but in Kentucky. His coon hounds treed it when hunting. When he got to the tree the cat panicked and jumped out of the tree. It attacked both of his coon hounds, which were both large dogs and used to fights with wild animals, and it proceeded to nearly kill both hounds. He kicked it off the dogs to save them and the cat ran. The way he described it sounds exactly like what I saw.

    The farm I am part owner of is very close to Greenbo State Park also. It’s about a mile to the lake from the farm. The last poster lives very near out farm apparently. I’ve heard stories about black cats all my life. I only saw the one and what turned out to be it’s kitten which was the one I had in the house.

    I’ve heard the unmistakable sound of a cougar scream behind my dad’s house. I’ve seen tracks that could have only been made by a cougar. I’ve seen a bobcat and I know the difference in size. Cougars are considerably bigger.

    The fact is there are several different types of wild cats in this area from feral house cats to the black cats to bobcats (one was trapped on the hill behind my house) and cougars. Oh and there are a lot of bears around here both on my home place and on the farm. I’ve seen bear and bear signs on both places and other places too all within the area around Greenup County in Kentucky and Scioto County in Ohio. I’ve also heard wild boar in the region as well. They are here and expanding their range all the time.

    I currently live in a very wooded area that stretches for many miles. I live close to a national forest which is where I saw the cougar tracks. I have ridden my ATV over hundreds of miles of that National Forest and around Greenup County and other places also. I’ve seen and heard lots of things some of which I can’t explain at all. I’ve seen snakes that aren’t supposed to exist, I’ve seen snakes that aren’t supposed to live in this area, I’ve seen snakes do things the experts will say never happens. Make no mistake about it. There are things in the woods the experts don’t know about. I’ve always been someone who roamed far and wide in the wild areas either hunting or riding an ATV or driving an offroad type truck. I grew up in the woods. I know what’s out there better than many.

    • Thanks Jeff for sharing your interesting experience. Could this cat be a subadult melanistic (black) cougar? There are no other possibilities of the wild cat species unless it is some unusual and human-created hybrid released into the wild.

      • It had it’s own kitten so it was an adult. It was nowhere near big enough to be a mountain lion. Could be the result of years of house cats breeding in the wild. But unless it swam the Ohio River there’s more than one.

  3. Just talked with my father about this subject. That’s how I found this post. My dad said he had one chasing him when he was riding his bicycle one evening. He was 14 at the time. Luckily he made it to a neighbor’s house that had a light post in his yard.
    I then asked what became of the cat? He replied that it had been killed with a shotgun by another neighbor. The black cat was going back to a henhouse to get another chicken. It had killed several before, but this time the farmer was perched on top of the roof of that hen house.
    My dad is now 77 and this happened in Martin County Kentucky. So everyone say what you will. But my father says it, then by God it happened!

    • Nice post. I liked it except for the shooting of the cat although I understand the reason. Thanks James.

  4. We saw a black jaguar, Hardin County, Ky. End of Summer 2017. Two days in a row. First day the adult was close enough that you could see her spots. She was jetblack, but had a darker shade of black spots that was visible, but still black. You could see the spots in the jetblack fur. It has to be a jaguar. Second day she had an older kitten with her. It was definitely a kitten in size comparison with the momma, but it wasn’t a young kitten. It looked strong. She made a funky short meow/growly noise, and the kitten ran to her and they disappeared again. People have been seeing them here as far back as the early 1900’s that I know of for sure. I’ve heard multiple hunter tales over the years.

    • Jeremy, thanks for commenting. The only place where there might be some genuine jaguars in the USA is in the states of New Mexico and Arizona on the border of Mexico. Officially that is the only place. Melanistic pumas are more common than jaguars in the USA. These are black mountain lions.

      For many years and even today many people believe there are no jaguars in the US. Black jaguars are called black panthers sometimes. Thanks again.

  5. It is poss for an occasional lion to make its way thru,that is,in the normal color phase,not melanistic,which by the way has never been proven. All I’m saying is as far as BP’s,people jump to a conclusion on what they think they see and say” I saw a BP”. By now, there would be prints,scat,young,buried deer carcasses,strong photo evidence or bodies,not to mention livestock predation.

  6. I live in western ky. Hrnderson Co. I have seen a cougar 2 separate times. Hwy 1299 both times. The first one was full grown standard color. The second time it was a smaller one, not a new born cub but a smaller one. 100% what it was.

  7. People claim there are no “standard” color cougars in Kentucky, too, but they’re wrong. I’ve seen two over the years, one in Knott County and one in Johnson County. They’re scarce, but they’re here, and they’ve ALWAYS been here. People in Eastern Kentucky have seen them all of my life, at least. Dogs don’t move like cats, and anybody that can mistake one for the other needs to have their eyes checked.

  8. There are no black panthers in ky people! Thousands and thousands of hunters and np BP bodies! We can put ships in space but no one can come up with a body!! Please!

  9. Before about a yr and a half ago I would not have believed you but seeing what I saw with my own eyes up and close in broad daylight I am now a believer myself I hunt deer,coon turkey well what ever is in season lol I love the woods and hills,I live on a stripjob in eastern ky and around 1:00 in the day me my mother and 8 yr old son was out trying to find her horse she always stayed close to the barn.they went right and I went left from the barn and when i got out on the top ridge I was turning to look around for the horse and saw something black out the corner of my eyes I just kept turning around to look cause I assumed it was my dog but as I turned back around I saw a huge black cat with a very long hooked tail and it had tits hanging way down and was very Bonny as if it had been almost nursed to death and it walked very slowly and didn’t seem to care I was even there and it was only about 40 some yards from me I couldn’t believe what I was seeing!!!!

    • Hi Poodle. The only cat with your description in the USA would be a female, melanistic mountain lion (puma). I wonder is she was a breeder who escaped (or was released) from a private zoo. Thanks for sharing. Excellent.

  10. Was on the Natcher Parkway this morning -Feb.11 – in Ohio County between mile markers 57 and 58. It was early morning and really overcast. I looked up on the hill and standing on top was a large black cat, call it what you will. I said to husband how rare it was to see one and he replied ‘wherever there is food’. He was not surprised as he had seen a black panther in the late ’60’s while hunting in neighboring Daviess County.Where there is still area known as Panther Creek.The vehicle was going normal speed and I did not have camera ready but I do know what I saw on that hilltop looking around. It was pretty awesome.

    • Thank you, Jan, for sharing your experiences. This sounds very interesting. And it certainly adds to the body of knowledge about “black cat in Kentucky”.

  11. I live in perry county about 4 miles from hazard. I saw a very large black cat on a strip mine. I am a true hillbilly and have spent most of my life actually out in the woods. When I was younger there were no animals in these hills. Due to mining pollution. But now they are full. I got a good look at the cat. It was about two and a half ft tall about four feet long the tail was twice the length of its body. It was solid black.

    • Hi Wade. Thanks for commenting. The big question is how far away was the cat and how good was the sighting? I ask because a lot of the time people genuinely mistake a large domestic ca for a wild cat. If the cat was a wild cat it can only be a melanistic bobcat or a young, melanistic puma.

  12. Wow! This is SO weird! I’m from England and last year came over to east ky to see my fiance (she was living in Manchester)
    About a year back I was being driven from London to Manchester by taxi.
    It was raining, but just eased off as we came about a half mile from Best Western on the parkway.
    Something ran across the parkway about 50 yards in front of us. This thing was HUGE! The taxi driver nearly lost control. It was a jet black cat… I would have said it was a panther it was that big!
    It definitely wasn’t a bear, coyote, mountain lion, or anything like. Just a massive black catlike creature!
    So…..yeah, definitely, there are some weird things out there!
    Thought I was seeing things….glad I found this site!

    • Hi Paul. You seem to have made one of the famous mysterious black cat sightings in the UK. Are you sure that the cat was that big because the chances of it being a genuine big cat are remote. More likely to be a large black domestic or feral cat. They can reach 20 pounds. It may have been a dog.

      Thanks for sharing Paul. My best for the New Year.

      • HI! NO!I saw it coming into Manchester Eastern Kentucky… Not in the U.K!
        I’m English but Kentucky’s where my fiance lives.

          • Yes…it’s confusing lol! There’s loads of English place names round that way! Manchester, London, Richmond, Glasgow, Middlesboro …just to name a few!Guess it must have been the early settlers there?
            Mostly English, Scots an Northern Irish I believe. Thanks for the info! I know people have seen “Big Cats” over here in England …mostly down in the west (Cornwall, Devon) where the habitat would be much more suited.

            • I looked up some pictures and I’m convinced it was a melenistic puma That I saw! Apparently quite a few folk around there have seen it too!

  13. Nancy, My hubby was going to work one morning, 5am, when he came up on a black panther sitting in the middle of the road. Our road is very small and lightly travelled. It had been down to the creek to drink. We have had 6 dogs in the neighborhood disappear or come back home all scratched up. Many more dogs are coming up missing. We used to have coyotes here and could hear them at night. No more coyotes. My pyrenese has been chasing something off at night. I heard a loud hiss/growl last night at 3am while checking on the livestock. My dog was going crazy. We called the game warden and he laughed it off. Said when we get a picture or dead animal, let him know. They are here. I am in N. KY. Campbell Cnty.

    • I have heard jaguar sounds in the morning & evening in Harrison county. They sound like an upset mother cow. Once we heard an awful low growl. Too close for comfort! They have been pooping around my farm too. My neighbor saw a big black cat a couple of years ago. I wonder if these were once pets, since exotic pets are now illegal?

      • Thanks for reporting your ‘sighting’ or ‘sounding!’ – I’d love to see a black panther in the US (melanistic mountain lion). Pumas are not as dangerous as some people make out. They are quite shy and retiring. They have some domestic cat qualities and some people have pet mountain lions!

        • I didn’t say mountain lion, puma, black panther, or cougar. I said Black Jaguar. Jaguar and mountain lions do NOT SOUND THE SAME. Although they shot a mountain lion in the next county, what we have seen and heard is a Black Jaguar.

          • Thanks yes, I didn’t read your comment thoroughly enough. Of course jaguars sound different to pumas. It is amazing that you heard a jaguar. They are not meant to be in Kentucky. May be an escaped captive animal?

  14. I live in western ky up by the ohio, surrounded by the Cumberland and Tennessee river. In the middle of the day I have seen black bear, and black cats. If you’re familiar with ky fields, there’s always tufts of weed that stand two to three feet hight in the middle of them.

    I was sitting on my front porch one day and in the field in front of my house a black cat came out of the tree line. Walking across the field I seen it’s head was really square and a long tail that curls up at the end.

    While walking in front of one of those tufts of weeds, it blocked it out from my view. So I know it’s back was around 2 – 3 feet off the ground. I called to it “kitty kitty kitty”. It froze long enough for me to look at it through a scope, and then casually walked to the next tree line.

    No fear humans at all. Second sighting was at night, pulling up in my driveway in a Toyota camry. There across from my front door (ABOUT 12 feet away) a black cat comes runnin across the driveway in front of the car being brightlighted by my headlights.

    Panting, i could see its teeth, and in the light you could see a pattern of stripes in the black coat. Way bigger than a bobcat though, i seen those a lot, this one was tall enough to see over the hood of the car, when it ran in front it was only about six feet away. I had a hard time getting out and walk in (running) in the front door.

    • Thank you Melissa for your fascinating couple of sightings. The more comments and articles I have read about these sorts of sightings the more I am beginning to think that there are more wild cat hybrids, which were once captive perhaps, roaming around parts of America than we think. I am not sure about that thought but that’s what it looks like to me. Other than that it has to be a cougar or a Bobcat and your descriptions do not fit those cats except that there is the possibility that you saw melanistic cougars. These are black cougars with a faint pattern. The curled up tail indicated cougar.

  15. I live in Greenup County, Ky and we have had reports of black panther sightings for over one hundred years in the western part of the county where I live. In the last 15 months we have had 4 sightings within a half mile of each other on or near a portion of our farm. I know the individuals who reported the recent sightings and i certainly believe them Over the years hunters have reported sightings many times. So listen up DNR we do have black panthers living in Kentucky.

    • Great post. Thanks Mike. I love first hand knowledge and experiences. I have a feeling the melanistic mountain lion is more common than people think. We have to keep things in check though because people do have a habit of seeing large black cats when they are mistaken as to the size.

      • We are driving north on I-75 approx 9pm, just saw a large black cat as you are describing at approx mile marker 61. He was just inside the guard rail. Couldn’t see his entire body, but sure could see those huge black paws! And the head over top of guard rail. Hope he doesn’t get hit. He’s huge!! We were curious what it was, and started Googling.

        • If your sighting is accurate and this cat is not a large domestic/stray cat then it has to be a black cougar (melanistic cougar). Cougars (pumas, mountain lions) can be black although it is relatively rare.

          It is easy to get a sighting wrong, though. It is difficult to evaluate size at a distance and when glancing at an animal. Thanks a lot for sharing.

          • I observed a juvenile Jaguar in the states in 2013 and have since been in contact with others with their own sightings. Most of the sites that have discussions on them are closed to contacts and absolutely full of idiots that would not know a horse from a cow. We need a REAL site for discussions of those actually having sightings because there are a LOT of them. Government is likely doing their best to cut down discussions and the forming of a group of solid observers.

            If there is a serious site for discussion on big black cats in the U.S. please let me know how to get to it.

  16. We are just outside Jamestown ky on Hwy 80 and just saw one! It was on the side of the road and could clearly be seen and identified…it appeared to be around 140 pounds. It’s coat was gloss black and it’s eyes shone at us and appeared to be green.

    We are so excited to have seen something so rare and elusive !

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