Wild Cat Species in Louisiana

Pretty bobcat. Photo by Linda Tanner on Flickr. Taken Montana de Oro State Park
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

When deciding what wild cat species live in the US state of Louisiana, the best source of information will be the geographic range maps on the IUCN Red website, which are reproduced on PoC. The only possible wild cat species in this state are the puma, bobcat, jaguarundi and ocelot.

The bobcat is ubiquitous throughout the USA so the bobcat can be found in Louisiana. Officially, the Puma’s range extends east as far as Texas but not as far as Louisiana. Therefore, the puma (cougar or mountain lion) should not be seen in Louisiana. However, some wandering young males might enter the state looking for a home range.

Pumas not in Louisiana
Pumas not in Louisiana

As for the jaguarundi and ocelot, you can bracket these together as their geographic range extends as far north as Mexico (jaguarundi rangeocelot range). They do not exist, according to the experts, in Louisiana.

That said there may be some in the state and some might have escaped from a private zoo. That’s it really. There is nothing much more to say. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries don’t appear to tell us what wild cat species are in their state but the answer is straightforward. If a visitor to this page has seen any of these cats it would be nice if you could leave a message. All four species are discussed in detail on this website. Please use the search box or go to this page to start.

49 thoughts on “Wild Cat Species in Louisiana”

  1. Just found a jaguarundi or bobcat & a coyote on my gamecam that I have in the backyard! I live between Bush proper & Covington. It’s not the first time I’ve seen the coyote but it is the first time to see the cat!

  2. Being from the Redwoods, seeing mountain lions were not uncommon. It’s a bit uncommon for cougars to be in Louisiana though. While coon hunting in Lincoln Parish, north of Ruston, back in 1986, my hard-headed Bluetick treed a large male cougar. He wanted it more than me, so I left his butt in the woods! πŸ™‚ I dropped my hunting vest by a tree on the edge of the woods. I went back the next morning and luckily he wasn’t dead but happily sleeping on my vest. The area that I was hunting in is now known as Lincoln Parish Park. Then in the summer of 2006, as an LEO, I was following a lead on a possible marijuana grow south of Lafayette. I found cougar tracks and cougar scat. A few nights later, a co-worker’s brother spotted a cougar at approximately 3am crossing La Neuville Road in front his car. I’ve since retired and have seen a young cougar cross the highway in front of me south of Columbia, about three years ago, and back in December (2022) I saw what resembled a jaguarundi on I-49 south of the Turkey Creek exit at approximately 4am.

  3. I have three large piles of hair like something puked it up after eating probably a rabbit and one pile is orangey colored like a squirrel. Is this evidence of a bobcat prowling around at night. The piles are strangely very close together.

    • Sounds like it might be a bobcat. What about a domestic cat? Domestic cats are great vomiters. And they can occasionally catch and try and eat rabbits and squirrels. The latter is particularly rare but it depends on the cat. A domestic cat used to living outside a lot will get very adept at catching rabbits and even squirrels. But, yes, it sounds more like a wild cat and the bobcat is the most ubiquitous wild cat in the USA. Thanks for sharing.

  4. K9 AR unit, 24yrs training K9’s over 15 hurricanes, not including tornado’s, human searches and other activities. Trained them in mountainous terrain and swamps…

    This article in the least is false and misleading. We have “tree’d” several big cats in Louisiana. One recently on the northshore out by Pelican Park. About 2 miles from Mandeville, La.

    The author has no clue of the real swamps or woods and what is in them. There ARE (smaller in stature) Mountain lions here. Statistical and self proclaimed/appointed experts are nothing more than that.

    My Partner, is a 160lb 2yr old Newfoundland. My first two, were 200lb and 185 respectively. Some of the best noses in the business. We are known by the PSP all the way to the St Tammany SHeriffs Dpt. Credentials aand experience.

    You see what you see, debunking someone without a pic is ludicrous.


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