Do mountain lions spray?

Mountain lions (aka cougars or pumas) don’t spray urine. I’ll quote verbatim the best book on the wild cat species: Wild Cats of the World by Mel Sunquist and Fiona Sunquist. As you know spraying urine horizontally against objects is a form of feline communication advertising the cat’s presence to other cats. Domestic cats often do it even when neutered and particulary when wandering outside.

Mountain lion
Mountain lion
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

“Neither sex [of mountain lion] sprays urine in the manner of other large felids, which is very unusual, considering that this behaviour is common in all other felid species studied to date.”

There’s your answer. I find it very unusual as well. However, urine and faeces are sometimes deposited on ground by mountain lions which has been scraped by the cat’s claws. This serves as a visual and olfactory marker.

The principal method of communication by mountain lions appears to be with scrapes on the ground and other objects and faecal mounds. These are called “scat mounds”.

Biologists don’t like to use the word ‘faeces’ or anything associated with sh*t – too impolite. Mounds of faeces are likely to be a form of communication. They are associated with kills and are frequently made near prominent trees.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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