‘Clear picture’ of puma in British countryside is a domestic cat (as usual)

Claimed clear picture of puma in UK countryside!
Claimed clear picture of puma in UK countryside! Picture: Sun newspaper.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This is meant to be one of the clearest photos of a ‘wild puma’ ever seen in Britain…ugh. It was taken by a woman on her phone as she was going to work. She said the cat was the size of a collie. The description of the cat’s size alone eliminates the possibility of it being an adult puma (mountain lion) as my comparison picture clearly demonstrates.

Puma and collie size comparison
Puma and collie size comparison. Illustration: PoC.

And if these are the best pictures that people can get it is clear that all these sighting are not of big cats roaming around the British countryside but domestic cats. I’d have thought it was obvious by now. The fact of the matter is that these online newspapers pay readers for pictures so when the news is slow readers can make a few hundred pounds fairly easily by submitting their pictures to the news media.

The picture itself is very poor quality. It shows a domestic cat with what is probably a ticked tabby coat. It is the coat which makes them have a passing resemblance to the puma.

Another factor which makes it clear that the picture is of a domestic cat is the body conformation. Pumas are lanky cats with long legs and a relatively slender body and small head. Domestic cats are more stocky normally with larger heads relative to the size of their body, as is the case with the cat in the picture.

She said that the ‘puma’ was eating a pigeon. There are small wild cat species such as the jungle cat and caracal (medium-sized) with tawny coloured coats. Theoretically the cat pictured could be one of these species. But why claim that when these species of wild cat have never inhabited the UK and where 99% of domestic cats are allowed free access to the outside and the countryside?

The only wild cat that might be left in Britain is the Scottish wildcat although it is near certain that it is extinct because the small population remaining in Scotland are probably hybrids of domestic and feral cats. The wildcat is a tabby, the size of a domestic cat but stockier.


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