If you live close to the wilderness, you know how difficult it is to deal with wild animals. While most of them are simply a nuisance, others can be dangerous if they pay you a visit, none more so than the ferocious mountain lion.
While it doesn’t happen often, encounters with mountain lions are not unheard of and are even increasing. They’re shy animals and often not dangerous, but in some cases, they can pose a threat to not only yourself, but also your pets, neighbors, and family.
There is a right way to deal with mountain lions, though, and by taking the right steps, you can repel these big cats without anyone getting hurt. Join us in Floofmania as we show you the best ways to get rid of mountain lions from your property.
Is It Dangerous To Have Mountain Lions In Your Yard?
Table of Contents
- 1 Is It Dangerous To Have Mountain Lions In Your Yard?
- 2 Why Would Mountain Lions Approach Your Property?
- 3 Should I Try And Get Rid Of Mountain Lions?
- 4 How Do I Repel Mountain Lions From My Yard and Property?
- 4.1 Certain Smells Can Attract Mountain Lions
- 4.2 Scents That Repel Mountain Lions
- 4.3 Can You Repel Mountain Lions With Noises?
- 4.4 Can You Repel Mountain Lions With Lights?
- 4.5 Can You Keep Mountain Lions Away With Pets?
- 4.6 Water Can Be A Deterrent Against Mountain Lions
- 4.7 Can I Catch A Mountain Lions With A Trap?
- 5 How Far Should You Go To Relocate Mountain Lions?
- 6 Author
Having a mountain lion on your property can be a dangerous situation for you. Just like many predators, these animals can seriously injure you. What’s worse, being out of their usual habitat might put them on edge and make them more aggressive.
Aside from the danger they pose to you, they can also seriously damage your property or hurt your pets and livestock.
What Damage Can Mountain Lions Do To Buildings?
Aside from damage to people, property damage is another major issue when it comes to mountain lions. While they’re not strong enough to destroy entire buildings, they can still be dangerous.
Mountain lions have sharp claws that can scratch and tear the things around your garden including fences, and lawn decorations. Thankfully, mountain lions do not normally dig so they won’t dig up gardens or damage anything underground.
If they get inside your house, these animals can break furniture, knock things over, scratch walls, and generally make a mess of things. If you think owning an unruly pet is bad, imagine a massive wild cat. Even if they aren’t intending to, their large size makes them more likely to knock things over by just passing by.
One example of this was in LA where a woman found a mountain lion had broke into her room through her window while she was in there! The big cat knocked over furniture and smashed through mirrors and windows, but thankfully the woman was fine and the mountain lion was later captured and released back into the wild.
Do Mountain Lions Carry Diseases?
Compared to other wild mammals, mountain lions are generally cleaner and carry fewer diseases so the risk of catching something from one of them is small. But small doesn’t mean zero as research shows that some mountain lions do carry diseases.
Common diseases that mountain lions might be carrying include.
- Feline leukemia
- Lyme disease
If you are dealing with mountain lions, be sure to observe for symptoms of these diseases. Although feline leukemia and Lyme disease cannot be transferred from animals to people, rabies can and it can be very dangerous. If you do encounter big cats with any of these diseases, you should still have yourself checked by a doctor just to be safe.
Can Mountain Lions Be Dangerous To Pets and Livestock?
Aside from humans, mountain lions are just as dangerous to animals as well. More than one pet has disappeared thanks to mountain lions and they have become infamous for attacking cattle and pigs on farms, especially if they are left unattended.
Mountain lions often approach homes in search of food, and in their eyes, these smaller animals are easy meals for them. They are willing to jump over fences and break into shelters to try and eat these animals so you should always remain vigilant and keep your livestock and pets somewhere secure.
Why Would Mountain Lions Approach Your Property?
Although scary, mountain lions do not normally eat humans and make a lot of effort to avoid us. Most of these big cats will retreat into the forest at the sight of people, preferring to avoid interactions with humans at all costs.
The problem is as we continue to push deeper and deeper into their habitats. With deforestation and habitat loss mountain lions find themselves with fewer places to go. This has led to an increase in encounters between them and humans.
With fewer places to go, more and more mountains venture into places like farms and suburbs in search of food due to habitat loss. The sight of pets and farm animals just sitting around can make for a tempting sight, so tempting that they might even risk encountering humans if it means getting a chance to eat.
Fact: There is a correlation between areas with mountain lions approaching human property and areas with a low deer or elk population, showing that mountain lions might approach humans out of desperation.
Should I Try And Get Rid Of Mountain Lions?
If you ever find a mountain lion on your property, the first thing you should do is always get yourself and your family to safety. Get inside and close the doors behind you so the animal can’t get in.
You should first try and call the authorities so they can handle it for you, but if that isn’t an option then there are things you can do to get rid of them.
Just remember that taking matters into your own hands should always be the last resort! These powerful animals can easily overpower and hurt you if you are not careful so it’s best to let the professionals handle them.
How Do I Repel Mountain Lions From My Yard and Property?
If you are worried about mountain lions approaching your property, never fear, there are ways to scare and keep them away. Many of these methods are precautionary, trying to prevent the problem before it arises. Aside from being effective, these methods are humane and don’t involve hurting these animals.
Although we should stress that you should avoid trying to get rid of these big cats on your own.
Certain Smells Can Attract Mountain Lions
The sense of smell is one of the mountain lions’ most important assets. It is far better than humans’ and is one of their primary means of finding food. It is also why they might end up in your home. If mountain lions are around your property, odds are they are searching for food and might have smelled something tasty around your house.
Just as you should avoid leaving food out when camping, you should also make sure that there isn’t food just lying around your property where animals can be attracted by it. Things like fruits that fall from trees (the scent of fruit can attract prey like deer) and leftovers in the garbage are some things that might attract mountain lions.
While you can’t always remove these food sources, you should make sure they are stored and covered properly so their scents won’t attract our hungry friends.
Scents That Repel Mountain Lions
While mountain lions can be easily deterred from entering your property with the use of noises, lights, sounds, and in some instances, even scarecrows, they aren’t easily scared by smells.
While smaller predators may be scared off by the scents of bigger predators, mountain lions are close to the top of the food chain, meaning that the scent of wolf or coyote urine is much less effective than it would be with smaller predators. The scent of a grizzly bear might do the trick, however, but unless you have a pet grizzly bear, its urine might be hard to come by.
One smell that really works in repelling mountain lions is pepper spray, or even better; bear spray, which has an extremely strong and unbearable smell to almost all animals. Pepper spray is not something you can leave around your yard as an effective 24-hour deterrent, however, since it quickly wears off. It does work extremely well when encountering a mountain lion, though, if you spray it directly at the animal.
Can You Repel Mountain Lions With Noises?
Like many animals, mountain lions are sensitive to loud noises. These big felines interpret loud noises as signs of trouble and instinctively avoid them. Human noises are especially effective at intimidating since mountain lions try to avoid humans.
If these cats find their way onto your property, you can use the things around your house to make noise to scare them off. Just be sure to do it from a safe place and avoid approaching them.
There are even alarm systems that are timed or motion-detected that can be installed on your property. These will blare out noises that might make mountain lions think twice about approaching.
Aside from that, other common items you can use include.
- Air horns
- Whistles and bells
Fact: Since mountain lions instinctively avoid humans, people are encouraged to make noise if they think a mountain lion is nearby. This lets the cat know that it won’t get an easy meal and will back away.
Can You Repel Mountain Lions With Lights?
Another humane method, and one that isn’t as loud as speaker systems using a light system. Although mountain lions aren’t sensitive to light, they can still act as a deterrent. Being primarily ambush hunters, having excellent lighting on your property might deter mountain lions from getting too close.
If they do get into your property, then sudden flashes or blinking lights can disorient and confuse them. This can irritate mountain lions enough that they will back away or at least get you precious time to get inside and call for help.
Fact: It seems that mountain lions aren’t the only ones deterred by lights. In the savannah, African lions are also deterred by bright lights as one boy from Kenya has invented a homemade security system using a flashlight to scare off lions.
Can You Keep Mountain Lions Away With Pets?
When it comes to animals on your property, their usefulness against mountain lions can be hit or miss. Some bigger, more aggressive animals like large dog breeds can be really useful.
While not as large as mountain lions, they are aggressive and have been known to chase off these wild animals. Some big dogs have even been used to hunt down larger animals like mountain lions.
On the other hand, animals like cats, sheep, and chickens as well as other farm animals are worse than useless against these apex predators. If anything, these animals might only attract mountain lions as they will see it as an easy meal.
Using animals for protection can be risky because of the dangers this strategy has on the animals. Your pets are just as likely to get hurt as the mountain lion so it’s better to just keep them inside with you.
Some well-known dog breeds that can fight off mountain lions include.
- Great Pyrenees
Water Can Be A Deterrent Against Mountain Lions
Nothing screams you’re not welcome than an unwanted bath and that is just as true for mountain lions as for people. Many home security systems usually include some form of water squirter with a built-in motion sensor.
These can range from sprinklers to machines that fire jets of water. Whatever it is, though the water can be an excellent way to get mountain lions to leave. While the water might not hurt them, it is enough to startle them and make the animals think that someone is around.
Fact: Mountain lions don’t actually hate water in principle as they are excellent swimmers and have been known to jump into the water.
Can I Catch A Mountain Lions With A Trap?
Some people also opt for more extreme solutions by trying to catch mountain lions in traps. Things like cages, hunting traps, or homemade traps are just some of the methods employed by people.
While these can be successful, there are a few issues with them. For one, your biggest issue might not be with the mountain lions, but with the law. In every state but Texas, trapping mountain lions is illegal. You can face serious legal trouble if you are caught with one of these big cats.
To use a trap, you might need to get permission from your state government first which can take time and money.
The other issue is the danger this poses, not just to you but also to the mountain lion. Traps have the risk of seriously injuring these animals, especially if they are not made properly.
If you really must trap a mountain lion, then it’s better to leave it to the professionals who can do it hopefully without hurting anyone.
How Far Should You Go To Relocate Mountain Lions?
When mountain lions are captured around your property, a common solution among authorities such as animal control is to relocate them somewhere else (hopefully somewhere far away.) The idea is they can resettle in this new area and live away from humans.
While it is a nice thought, it is not as simple as it sounds and there are issues with relocation plans that have forced animal control to reconsider these strategies. The biggest problem is that there is no guarantee that mountain lions will be able to resettle at all if they are moved away.
Their territory is where they get food, and water, and raise their cubs. It is literally their whole world in some cases. If you move them away, you are also removing the mountain lion’s means of getting these things until it resettles and that is a big if.
Leaving them in a new area could mean mountain lions would either have to fight for new territory or wander around until it finds a place to settle which can be a serious risk to them.
Some Groups Suggest Setting Up Scarecrows to Deter Mountain Lions
While we’ve never heard of this actually being used in practice, there are some people who recommend using scarecrows as a way to deter mountain lion attacks. There is some logic to this as since mountain lions avoid humans, having something resembling a human standing on your property might make them think someone is around.
Author: Quade Ong
Hello there, my name is Quade. I have been a writer for three years but an animal lover for over two decades. I grew up in one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, which has given me the blessing of seeing all sorts of beautiful animals. Now I strive to learn not just about the animals I am from, but those all over the world!