Next-Biggest Cat after the Cougar?

I know that lions, tigers, jaguars, and leopards are bigger than cougars. What’s the next biggest cat after that? Or did I leave one out?


Martins (Correctly martens) are more closely related to minks. They are small.

My best guess as to the real answer would be Cheetah, linx or bobcat.

According to this, based on weight in descending order:

Puma (cougar)
Snow Leopard

Correctly, lynx.:wink: (couldn’t resist)

I had a conversation on the ranking of cougars vs. other predatory animals. I forget the details. E.g.:

Cougar is a 40-something who hunts for younger men
50-something was something else. Puma? (Same real animal I know, but I and folks 'roun here use the name “Mountain Lion” anyway).

Lynx aren’t that big. Bobcats are even smaller. They’re the only one I’ve seen in the wild, and boy was he mad. I would’ve said leopard in my WAG. But of course, many of these are genera or higher; not species or subspecies. E.g tigers are the biggest, but the Siberian tiger subspecies is the biggest cat. Although, isn’t the liger bigger (just searched, wiki says yes)? Something about the male lion and female tiger not having the growth limiting factors that male tiger x female lion (tigon) has.

A bobcat is a lynx. Bobcats are the smallest type of lynx, but they are still a lynx.

Next year they’ll be Hornets. (Sorry, couldn’t resist a little local Charlotte humor.)

Is a “mountain lion” the same as a cougar/puma?

Yes. Puma concolor. Wikipedia told me that they are the Guinness world record holder for the most names of any animal. 40 in English alone. Although exterminated in the eastern half of the US, their natural range is nearly the entire western hemisphere. They are the fourth largest cat. Thank you, Wikipedia!

Where’d you hear that they were exterminated in the eastern US? I know that they’re occasionally seen in Pennsylvania, at least. They’re not as common as they are in the West, but then, what is?

The Florida panther is a subspecies of cougars. Not extinct yet, just very close. If you were looking at the range map for cougars on Wikipedia, you may have missed the red blob in S. Florida.

Martens are small but not what Thudlow was referring to. Of course, you would have had to click his link and read to know that.

Apparently they are moving East again.

I’d be very surprised if there was a breeding population of mountain lions in PA. Does anyone have an “official” cite for this?

I could see it happening in the future, but now? I’d be surprised.

Pumas were exterminated in the eastern US except for Florida many years ago. In recent years, there have been increasing numbers of sightings in eastern states. The exact status, whether wandering individuals or a permanent population, is controversial in most areas.

I’ve been lucky enough to have seen a mountain lion in the wild (out here in CA), and it’s a very impressive animal! This guys was less than 2 miles from my house. I’m sure I’ve been near one dozens of times (without seeing it), as I do a lot of hiking and biking in the hills where they occur.

Yes, but in common lingo, Lynx rufus is called “Bobcat”, and Lynx canadensis is “Lynx” and we don’t care about the other two.

Parts of South Florida have “Panther crossing” signs. Kind of trippy. Umm… they also (unofficial) skunk ape crossing signs, so yeah…

There is also the Carolina Panther. They were nearly extinct in 2001, but the population has improved.

Wow! Two Charlotte professional sports team references in one non-sports thread!

Yeah but in general, here in GQ, you’re supposed to wait for the real answer before making bad joke answers. So, picunurse’s reply was correct.

Puma, cougar, saber tooth.