How much do pumas eat?

Puma is another name for mountain lion. There are various figures for the amount of meat (flesh) that pumas eat per day.

Puma family about to eat

Puma family about to eat

In the Sheep River area of Alberta a female puma ate 2.5 kilograms of freshly killed mule deer per day. Captive feeding trials indicate that pumas eat as much as 10 kilograms of meat over a 24 hour period. Zoos generally provide pumas with 1.6 to 5.5 kilograms of meat daily. They fasted one day per week.

A hunter in California found that the pumas he killed had eaten 2.2 to 3.6 kilograms of meat. He considered this a large meal for a puma. It must have been its last meal that day.

An energetics model (a model based on energy requirements) predicted daily consumption of 2.2 to 2.7 kgs for females and 3.4 to 4.3 kgs for males.

A family of pumas – a female and two young of five months of age – ate 5.1 kgs per cat per day.

One or possibly two pumas ate approx. 165 kgs of elk in 27 days at a rate of 6.1 kgs per day.

An adult male in Alberta ate and average of 7.2 kgs per day between the beginning of December and early April.

A female without kittens had a daily intake of 4.6 kgs of meat.

Pumas eat all parts of the prey carcass that is edible. Bones, hooves and stomach contents are left behind. There are 2.2 pounds per kg. so multiply the figures above by 2.2 to convert to pounds.

The data comes from various references referred to in the book Wild Cats of the World; the best book on wild cats anywhere. The authors are Mel and Fiona Sunquist. It is available on Amazon.

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