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   The dreaded question for parents..."Where do baby cougars come from?"  


Cougars reproduce via sexual reproduction.
Male and female cougars have either male reproductive organs or female reproductive organs, not both.  Cougars are placental animals, which means that they are fertilized internally and undergo external development in the absence ofPhoto used with permission from Rolf Hicker  an egg.  Gestation lasts anywhere from 90-95 days and cougars can have anywhere from one to six offspring in a single litter.  Female cougars usually reach sexual maturity by three years of age whereas male cougars reach sexual maturity after three years of age. Male cougars are polygamous so mating is very convenient for them. Females are usually monogamous and only mate for a few days out of their 24-day menstruation cycle. Female cougars may breed any time of the year but only breed every other year since their cubs take around a year-and-a-half to become completely independent. If for some reason a female cougar ends up losing her cubs, she can conceive shortly after their birth.


In most cases, a cougar will  have only two to three offspring that are called either cubs or kittens.
  However, female cougars that breed for the first time usually only have one cub which is nature’s way of ensuring they break into the responsibility of motherhood slowly.  Cubs are born with spots on their coats, they are born blind, and they weigh around one pound. Cougar cubs rely on their mother for food until they are trained to hunt properly. Cubs have about a 70 percent survival Photo used with permission from Daniel Vucskorate during their first year. Cougar cubs typically rely on their mothers for a long period of time (about 12-24 months). While her cubs are still growing, a female cougar may take a single cub out to hunt with her, but this only happens when she knows that they are ready to do so. This is beneficial to the species Puma concolor because it controls overpopulation of which can contribute to the depletion of its food supply.


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