Valeria (Val to friends) was born at Catty Shack Ranch on August 8, 2002. Her parents are now deceased. As a lifelong resident, Val has received and enjoyed love, attention and excellent care for her entire life.Val is a cougar. Her species goes by many names – puma, panther, mountain lion, cougar, catamount, painter, and ghost cat to name a few. In the wild, these cats range from British Columbia down through Argentina, although in far fewer numbers than in the past. They are solitary animals, hunting by ambush from dusk to dawn (being both nocturnal and crepuscular). Distantly related to house cats rather than part of the big cat family (lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards), they can purr. Within their large body, a loud purr is produced.

Visitors frequently find Val lounging on top of her platforms. From this position, she keeps watch over “her” surroundings. As if knowing her “diva” status, she may acknowledge your presence with a sleepy glance and then resume her beauty rest or power nap. When she yawns, you catch a glimpse of her raspy tongue and powerful incisors. She often communicates by making a chirpy sound and she loves to talk back to the volunteers.

Seeing Val at rest, one may overlook her relatively long, strong hind legs. Cougars in the wild can leap 18 feet in the air, as high as a two-story building! They are also short distance sprinters and adept climbers. Watch her toes twitch as she appears to dream of hunting. Her large front feet are equipped with retractable claws and are adapted to clutch prey.

Val enjoys a healthy diet of raw meat with vitamins and supplements appropriate to her species, age, and current health condition. All our animals receive regular veterinary care and are very much loved.

Born: August 8, 2002
Gender: Female
Classification: Puma (Puma concolor cougar)