How many miles do mountain lions travel?

How many miles do mountain lions travel in a day? Unfortunately there isn’t much information on this topic but nonetheless I have some information. M.E. Musgrave tells us in their “Some habits of mountain lions in Arizona” (1926) published in the journal Mammal that ‘an old tom’ (old male mountain lion) covered more than 32 kilometers (19 miles) in a single night. The cat was “traveling along the top of a high ridge and crossing over the peaks or highest spotes as it reached them.”

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

L.L. Sweanor in “Mountain lion social organization in a desert environment” for their Master’s thesis (1990) said the two New Mexico male mountain lions traveled 5.2 and 7.9 kilometers a day. This is 3.2 miles and 4.9 miles respectively. The same researcher reported that females travelled shorter distances. Four females with cubs travelled 1.0, 1.2, 2.5 and 3.1 kilometers per day. This is 0.62, 0.74, 1.5 and 1.9 miles respectively.

R.H. Barrett, D.Choate and P. Beier in “Movement patterns of mountain lions during different behaviors” published in the journal Mammal in 1995 said that mountain lions in the Santa Ana Mountains of southern California travelled an average of 6.4 kilometers (4 miles) per day. They mostly travelled at night.

I think that this provides at least a feel for the kinds of distances that pumas travel in a day or night. Pumas travel in a punctuated manner. They move rapidly between different locations where they wait for long periods averaging 42 minutes (source: R.H. Barrett, D.Choate and P. Beier above).

I am indebted to Mel and Fiona Sunquist (Wild Cats of the World) for the references. Buy this book if you want to learn about the wild cat species. It is the best.


Puma cub has spots for camouflage protection

Young pumas have spots for camouflage protection which entirely disappear in adolescence

It makes good sense that puma cubs have spots for camouflage protection as they are incredibly vulnerable. The spots disappear ...
The mountain lion is scared of people and it affects their lives negatively

Mountain lions fear humans which limits their use of space particularly for males

The puma fears humans and it negatively impacts their lives. Image: MikeB using Canva. A report on a study on ...
Puma at night

Mountain lions try to avoid artificially lit areas, possibly to avoid interactions with humans

In Southern California, mountain lions avoid areas which are lit artificially. It is believed that they do this to avoid ...
pet pumas

Can you own a large wild cat in South Carolina?

Pet Puma. Image in the public domain. Pet pumas are not uncommon in the US depending on the state. The ...
albino cat eye color

Albinism in cats infographic

This is an infographic which summarises albinism in cats. Rarely you will see albino wild and domestic cats. You will ...

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

2 thoughts on “How many miles do mountain lions travel?”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

follow it link and logo

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

I welcome and value comments. Please share your thoughts. All comments are currently unmoderated.

This blog is seen in 199 of the world's country's according to Google Analytics which is pretty much the entire world.

Scroll to Top