Cougar symbolism represents agility, wealth, and protection. Also referred to as pumas, mountain lions, or panthers, cougars represent grace and strength all over the world.

What Does a Cougar Symbolize?


Cougars are able to scale steep rock faces, leap distances of 40 feet, and jump as high as 18 feet. Because of these qualities, the cougar is considered to be a symbol of agility. 

The cougar reminds us to be quick on our feet and to be flexible. We also need to be ready for whatever may come our way. 


The cougar is considered to be a symbol of secrecy. Native Americans say that the cougar walks in moccasins to not be heard. The cougar is an ambush predator that silently stalks their prey so that they can attack at the perfect time. 


Because of how they look and how they move, the cougar is a symbol of beauty. They are known for their golden-green eyes and how they maneuver with agility and grace in their environment.


The cougar is a symbol of protection. The male cougars will often fight to the death for territory. Cougar cubs are ferocious as well, and the mothers are especially protective. 

These large felines remind us that we should never be passive when we need to protect the people we love. It’s important to protect our family and friends, but also our greater communities. It’s also important to protect nature or any other causes we care about. 


The cougar is a symbol of adaptability. They can live in a variety of environments, including high mountain ranges, forests, or deserts. They’ll also turn to other food sources that are outside of their primary diet when it’s necessary for survival. 


In South America, the Quechua People view the cougar as a positive omen that will bring wealth or good fortune. Native Americans say that they were able to learn valuable hunting skills from cougars, as well as where to find good hunting spots. The cougar is a symbol of wealth, good fortune, and prosperity for the Indigenous Peoples across the Americas


Cougar Symbolism and Spiritual Meanings

Cougar Clans

Many Native American tribes have cougar clans, including Caddo, Chickasaw, Chippewa, Creek, Osage, Pueblo, and Shawnee. A clan is a community organization that is rooted in the maternal family line. The clan animal acts as a guardian or protector for those who are members. 

Seminole and Shawnee

The Seminole People and the Shawnee viewed the cougar as a powerful medicine animal. It was believed that the cougar would bring good luck when hunting. The cougar’s fur is also present in various spiritual ceremonies. 


The cougar is considered to be a sacred animal for the Shoshone people. They believe that one should never hunt the cougar. According to Shoshone legends, a violent tribe once invaded their territory.

Pueblo People

For the Pueblo tribes of the Southwest, the cougar is the protector of the North, one of the directional guardians. There are six directional guardians which include, the wolf, the bear, the mole, the badger, and the eagle. 


Toho is a guardian spirit that would take the form of a mountain lion or cougar. The Zuni, Hopi, and Mohave people believe that Toho provides protection and good luck while hunting. 


One Navajo story tells the tale of the Changing Woman. She is a protector of the people and a fertility goddess. The women told the Navajo that one of their protectors would be a cougar. 


The Hopi view the cougar as a powerful and sacred being. While it’s a protector of the tribe, the cougar is also considered to be the strongest and most fearless hunter. 

Inca Mythology

For the Inca, one of the ancient peoples of the Andes, cougar symbolism is associated with their creator deity Viracocha. Since Viracocha was thought to be the creator of the Universe, he oversaw the worlds of the living, the dead, and the gods. 

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