Up close and personal with a female puma

Graduate student Max Allen captured this video of a female puma advertising for mates in the Santa Cruz Mountains. You can see she gets very close to the camera, rubbing against in a manner that any cat owner will recognize instantly!

Pumas are solitary animals, which makes the mating scene a bit of a challenge. To find a suitable male, females will visit scrape locations, where males visit periodically to mark their territories.  At the scrape site – the female puma may be able to use smells to assess the health of males visiting the scrape and select for the fittest male. A female will advertise her availability by calling for a mate for days at a time.

Once the pair meet up, the mating can be pretty intense. According to the Mountain Lion Foundation, pumas may mate 50-70 times in a single day! While mating, they get even noisier and  “caterwaul”  together, to the surprise (or annoyance) of human neighbors. Unfortunately, we still haven’t captured any footage or sound of mating pumas.


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