Pumas are large, secretive cats. They are also commonly known as cougars and mountain lions, and are able to reach larger sizes than some other "big" cat individuals. Despite their large size, they are thought to be more closely related to smaller feline species. The seven subspecies of pumas all have similar characteristics, but tend to vary in color and size. Pumas are thought to be one of the most adaptable of felines on the American continents, because they are found in a variety of different habitats, unlike other various cat species. The Puma is a large, graceful cat belonging to the felidae family. Pumas are also called Cougars, Panthers and Mountain Lions. Pumas are solitary cats and have the largest ranges of all wild terrestrial mammals in the Western Hemisphere. Their range extends from Yukon, Canada, to the Southern Andes in South America. Although Pumas are large cats, they are not classed in the ‘big cat’ category. Instead, they are one of the largest cats of the ‘small cat’ category, even though some can match the size of a leopard.
Pumas can run up to 80 km/h (50 mph) and jump as high as 4.6 meters (15 feet).
Pumas are powerfully built, with large paws and sharp claws. Their hind legs are larger and more muscular than their front legs to give them great jumping power.
Lifespan for puma in the wild is between 8 – 13 years and in captivity up to 20 years.