Categories: Puma

Can pumas be white?

The question is badly phrased but comes from a Google search. The better question would be ‘has there ever been any white pumas?’. I say that because it is possible that a genetic mutation may occur in the future which produces a white puma and if that happened we could then say that pumas can be white. We can’t say for certain that it is impossible for pumas to be white but we can say with certainty that thus far in the history of the puma AS WE KNOW IT there has been no white pumas.

‘Puma’ is the more scientifically accurate word for mountain lion. There is nothing in the excellent literature that I have which supports the view that pumas can be white. This is despite the fact that the Wikipedia authors allude to the possibility by saying that there are ‘white panthers’ and panthers refers to leopard, jaguars and pumas.

The fact is if there had been in existence at one time or if they are still in existence there would be a record of the animal by now. Someone would have seen it and shot it not doubt. It is sort of thing that happens.

Whiteness in big cats is caused by a genetic mutation which removes the usual pigmentation, melanin, from the hair strands because the gene prevents the pigment producing cells in the skin (melanocytes) from functioning normally. Genetic mutations occur all the time. It is how humans came into existence.

P.S. Pumans can be black incidentally – click to read about it.

SOME MORE ON PUMAS:

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Is the puma a big cat?

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How many pumas are left in the world 2020?

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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