What Is a Cougar's Life Cycle?

According to the general consensus among biologists, a cougar’s life cycle starts when the mother reaches sexual maturity, usually at the age of 1 ½ years. It ends with the death of the litter.

Female cougars are in heat for approximately eight out of 23 days in each cycle. If fertilization occurs, the mother gives birth to her litter after 88 to 96 days. When born, kittens are completely dependent, and they do not begin to hunt on their own before the age of 6 months. At the age of 18 months, they leave their mother and try to establish their own territory.

Life expectancy of cougars in the wild is between 8 and 13 years. Primary causes of cougar deaths are diseases, disabilities, humans and accidents.