in Ontario

Over the years we have had many reports of sightings of Big Cats in Ontario, often animals which remain unidentified.

Ontario is known to have populations of big cats, Lynx and Bobcat, and the occasional Cougar being sighted, but none of these animals should be seen in the wild in Southern Ontario.

Having said that, we have had numerous reports from across the province, of sightings of big cats.

Whether these sightings are of big cats which have spread into this area, or they are escapees from private zoo, is unknown, but there are too many sightings reported for them all to be hallucinations!

(Lynx rufus)

The Bobcat is the smallest of the three Canadian big cats, and is normally found farther north in Ontario, not particularly in Southern Ontario, however, that doesn't mean that it is never sighted around here. 

It is an efficient predator and prefers wooded areas where its primary food is rabbits and hares, but it will also eat geese and rodents.

This particular big cat is 18 - 48 inches long with a weight of about 21 pounds for an average male, but they can grow larger than this.

(Lynx Canadensis)

Another of the Big Cats in Ontario is the Canadian Lynx which lives mainly in northern woodlands where its main diet is the snowshoe hare, and has a weight of 12 - 35 pounds, and length of 30 - 42 inches.  Males are usually larger than females.

Lynx, like other hunters in the forest, play an vital role. They are a medium sized carnivore and they target smaller prey species that reproduce quickly.

This big cat requires a mixed habitat that includes young forests with thick vegetation for hunting small prey, and older forested areas with a full canopy and good cover for building their dens.

 (Puma concolor)

The Cougar, also known as the Mountain Lion or Puma in the USA, should not be in Ontario at all, as they are found mainly further to the south and west of Ontario, mainly west of the Rocky Mountains, but there have been sightings in Southern Ontario, which are probably escaped animals.

A full grown male Cougar can measure almost 8 ft from nose to tail and weighs in at an average of 125 lbs

We always love hearing from our readers, so if you have seen one of the Big Cats in Southern Ontario, please write to us and let us know all the details!  

Please tell us where and when you sighted the animal, what it was doing when you observed it, what time of day this was, and any other additional information that you think our readers will find interesting.


Defenders of Wildlife

Information about the Canadian Lynx, one of the big cats in Ontario, it's life-cycle and habits

The Bobcat Information

Information about the Bobcat found in Canada and the USA

Muskoka Region Information

There are big cats in the Muskoka area - official sighting of a Cougar in Ontario

Have you spotted a Big Cat in Ontario?

Have you seen a big cat? Paw prints? We'd love to hear about it, and see a picture if you have one!

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Prints in Tamworth Ontario 
Does anyone know what these prints could be from? They were found in our backyard near Tamworth, Ontario. We set up a trail-cam but haven't seen …

Potential Cougar Sighting on 406 in Fonthill 
We had just passed under the highway 20 overpass on the 406 this evening around 10 pm when I was startled by an animal standing in the left lane of the …

Big Cat in the Kawarthas 
Its interesting to read recent comments as a lot online is quite old and my experience was this past summer. In 2015 I found a massive cat print in mid-May …

Identification please! 
We’ve had a couple sightings of a “larger than normal cat” on our property in West grey, Ontario. I finally caught it on a trail camera. Any possible …

Old Cougar sighting report 
My name is Josh, I'm 23 years of age, often hiker. Two years ago I witnessed a quick sighting of what appeared to be a younger adult Cougar here in …

Bobcat, Lynx or Cougar? 
These tracks were spotted in our woods in Flamborough, Ontario, just north of Hamilton on December 27, 2016. Does anyone recognize these prints? …

Unknown cat 
Was out hunting rabbits north of Kingston and saw some prints. Not sure what they are though, if anyone knows please comment below. …

Big cat - could be Cougar?  
This sighting was just outside Hamilton, Ontario, at 2 am close to Nebo Road on Airport Rd. The animal ran in front of my car and into the brush. …

Big Black Cat 
I was biking along bike path going west just before Orleans Boulevard. I went to my right towards river on a gravel road, just before a wooden bridge. …

Possible Lynx Sighting in Niagara Falls 
While driving into Niagara Falls down Montrose Road about a kilometer away from Niagara Square shopping mall, I saw what looked to me to be a very large …

Medium sized cat seen on the Don Valley Recreational Trail 
I was on my daily bike ride along the beautiful Lower Don Valley Recreational Trail and was just cruising along slowly as I always do so I can observe …

I was at school in St Catharines, and in our field I saw a very large cat. It was light brown/beige and very big. It was definitely not a house …

I was stopped on a back side road in Cold Water, Ontario, which is just north of Orillia. I was looking for a house and couldn't find it. I was waiting …

Brownish-Grey Cougar-like Cat  
I was driving northbound on Woodward Avenue in Hamilton, turning onto the Burlington Street ramp and when I was halfway on the ramp I looked to my right …

Cougar in Wheatley 
My husband was looking out our back sliding doors one morning in Wheatley, Ontario, and said to me "I think I've just seen a panther". I thought …

I went fishing at Burns Conservation Area north of Burlington (south of Moffat) about 20 years ago very early one morning (I got there while it was still …

Large White cat like creature 
We are fortunate to live in an area with plenty of wild life (near St Thomas). I have twice watched a large white cat-like animal, move along a tree line. …

Saw a Lynx in my backyard in the winter 
I was walking my dog in my back yard, and I was at the side of my house walking toward the back, and I saw a family of Lynx. I ran inside to get my …

Lynx or something close spotted in St. Catharines 
My house is on the Twelve Mile Creek, in St Catharines, Ontario, and one day I was on a little walk in the back, as I usually do, when I saw a giant cat, …

Cougar in Toronto? 
I am re-publishing this report from Mash, who sent it to us back in 2010. Yesterday I saw an animal that looked much like a Mountain Lion. …

Lynx in Winter 
My family owns a cottage in the Lake of Bays area. A few years ago, in the late 1990's, I was outside walking on the frozen bay, watching to see if any …

Cougar Before Sunrise 
Colchester South Township, East Harrow, Essex, Ontario. I was on a bike ride early one July morning, I came across what appeared to be a short, stubby …

Bobcat walking away from Trail Cam Not rated yet
Not a perfect shot, but I'm going with a Bobcat. This was taken by a trailcam I have set up on my land about 30 minutes north of Napanee or Kingston, …

Bobcat Trail Cam pictures Not rated yet
My trail camera has taken a picture of a Bob Cat I think anyways. Will upload the picture, night time so hard to tell. I live south of 401 east …

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Big Cats seen near London Not rated yet
Bibi from Belmont reported ... I had just brought our dogs in from a run in the side field, when I decided to go out and watch the sunset. Just before …

Possible Mountain Lion  Not rated yet
Its interesting to read recent comments as a lot online is quite old and my experience was last week. In 2015 I found a massive cat print in mid-May …

Mystery Cats Not rated yet
Colleen Bond On Easter Sunday April 1st 2018. We had left Haliburton village about 7:30 pm. Traveling down highway 21, about 7-10 minutes out of the …

Bobcat in Tiny township Not rated yet
Picture from deer cam, November 2017. Thanks for your picture, it sure looks like a Bobcat!

Bobcat sighting in Kitchener Not rated yet
Hi; I caught a glimpse of a very large cat, tan to light brown in colour, estimated to be about 3 feet long. The location was a new building lot in …

Cougars Not rated yet
Walking along Glasgow Road, beside the Humber River, in Bolton, I rounded a bend in the road and a cougar ran up the embankment from the river …

Lynx spotted Not rated yet
Lorraine wrote to report ... on October 25th at approximately 3:30 p.m. we spotted a Lynx when it crossed the highway in front of us. We were heading …

Bobcats, Cougars and Mystery Cats Not rated yet
James Clements from Nipissing, Ontario, wrote ... no big story, but I just saw a Bobcat cross our driveway and wanted to report it for your stats. No …

Bells Corners Sighting Not rated yet
I was cycling on the trail between Hanel and the 417 around 6:30 this morning when, what I initially took to be a Coyote because I hear them often enough, …

I saw a Lynx near McMaster University​ Not rated yet
I was walking in the trail and saw one this week. I have a picture I took of its footprint. Is this an ordinary sighting? Thank …

Two Large Cats spotted in Lafontaine, Ontario  Not rated yet
Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017 9:18am. My boyfriend and I were driving to my parent's house from our house, which is only about 15 minutes apart. We …

Lynx? Not rated yet
These were seen at Frank Kenny Drive, Navan area, Ontario. Found Tracks in the snow but not sure if they are a big cat print. Paw width …

Bobcat sighting near Norwood Ontario Not rated yet
Just had a Bobcat walk across the front of the house and I watched it go across the driveway into the bush. At first I thought it was a …

Huron County south western Ontario Not rated yet
Seen a full grown Cougar - main hwy 8 towards Goderich, in spring 2016. I saw it jump from from side of middle of road into ditch in one leap. …

Cat-like creature near Port Bruce Not rated yet
Regarding the large cat-like creature - not just me but my sister, husband, and aunt, have all seen a similar feline, small cougar-like creature in the …

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