cats in Alabama

mr.dMay 16, 2008

There is no doubt about it...large cats live in Alabama. My grandfather reported seeing a large black cat on his farm in Barbour county years ago. Now, I live in Shelby county, About two months ago, I was taking my small dog outside when I noticed a black creature sitting there eying my dog. I thought maybe it was a black lab. I didn't want trouble so I took my dog in and walked back over there. It was still sitting there, but it began walking off very slowly as I approached. I was able to get within 20 yards (close enough to make out its cat-like features) It freaked me out. This morning, I was asleep when my girlfriend came in all freaked out and told me she saw the same thing, in the same general area. She says she saw a very lean, black catlike creature on a slow but steady stride back into the woods behind our place. It may have been a jaguarundi or a black panther. My justification for those of you who may think that we are crazy is this: If they lived around here at one time, who is to say that there aren't still a few around (especially with the deer population having risen significantly). Also those those cats can travel hundreds of miles. It just wouldn't make sense to rule out the existence of the creature in alabama. THEY ARE HERE! (So are black bears)

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kandm(8b coastal alabama)

Wow that sounds scary. My little kitten beats me up, just wondering what a bigger one would do!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Absolutely they are here....and their numbers are higher than most think.....Check out my myspace page dedicated the the Eastern Cougar / mountain lion

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 1:02AM
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treeguy123(AL 7b)

If you ever see the black cat again try to get lots of pictures of it with something of a scale by the cat to prove and to figure out the actual size of it in the picture. This would be great for scientists to prove and to figure out what all the Black cat reports are. Also any hair etc. needs to be kept and also take pictures of any tracks show up in mud or sand with a tape measure by it.

There was a show I watched several months ago called Monster Quest on History Channel "Lions in the Suburbs" It was a investigation into the reports of large black cats and jaguar-like creatures that have been encroaching into human populated areas of Arizona, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Black Cats of Alabama from Outdoor Alabama (see the link at the bottom for the whole story):

"Alabama has two native cats. The first and largest is the mountain lion, also called a cougar, catamount, painter, puma or panther. Cougars are tawny brown to grayish in color, weighing from 75 to 120 pounds, and can reach a length of about 6½ feet, nose to tail. The population, if it still exists, is scarce within the state. The bobcat is the other native cat found in Alabama. It is a much smaller cat with a short tail and spotted fur. Adult body weights normally range from 25 to 30 pounds. Despite its small size, it is a formidable predator. However, neither of these cats has a black or melanistic color phase.

So, with no native black cats in Alabama, what are people reporting seeing? Almost all of the reports are proven to be cases of mistaken identity, or possibly animals that have been released or escaped from captivity. Some field investigations have found distinct tracks and/or bite marks. Further investigations have revealed the tracks and bite marks match those of canines, not felines, so the culprits are many times coyotes or dogs."

Here is a link that might be useful: Black Cats of Alabama

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 3:25PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

Okay,for those interested. I met someone over the forth of July who deer hunts around the Jefferson County area. He is a software developer who grew up in and enjoys the woods. While hunting in Lamar County he observed a Black Panther or "large" black cat crossing a country dirt road he was walking down. He saw it long enough to stop and observe it,long enough where he could have drawn his rifle and shot it if he wanted to. He said there is doubt in his mind that they are around and he was so moved by the experience he said he will no longer enter the deep woods without a loaded and ready firearm. His story was very convfincing.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:31PM
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We had a neighbor in Wicksburg (a community west of Dothan) who saw a large black cat, panther sized, in the field behind her house several years ago. Our elderly neighbor who had lived there all her life wasn't surprised. And she told me that years ago her husband had seen a black bear while he was hunting along the choctahatchee west of Dothan. A bear has been spotted there twice in the last week or so.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:26PM
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About 20 years ago when I was younger man I spotted a black cat. My friends and I use to go to Vulcan in Birmingham to drink beer and be rowdy. (welcome to Alabama)

At the base of Red Mountain (directly underneath the statue) is a old concrete pad. (15x15) That is were we would drink beer. One night we decided to go to Vulcan. When we got there I ran down to the concrete pad. This pad is very close to the houses at the base of Vulcan. (too close)

When I got to the pad I paused to catch my breathe, I instantly noticed this large figure in backyard. I didn't have to rationalize or speculate what I was looking at. This cat was flippen HUGE. Black and loaded with muscle.Its tail was what appeared to be 3 feet long.

I watched this cat saunder through 3 back yards and disappear. The following Monday I called the wild life bioligist for Jefferson county. He told me that "Yes...Jaguarundi are here".

Well...If you Google "jaguarundi" the images you get look like a house cat. The cat I saw made a jaguarundi look like a snack. I told the bioligist this and he told me "possibley". He also stated that if I see a large cat int he middle of the day I am finished. They are nocturnal and if they are out in the middle of the day they are either sick,starving are diseased. Either one is a recipe for death.

My guess is the cats are here. They are running up and down the rivers looking for food. More than likely this one I saw was living in abandoned mine system on Red Mountain.

Back to my tail gate conversation, my friend added that he saw a "Mountain Lion" at Ruffner Mountain. Not a large black cat...but a screaming Mountain Lion. He never went back. I respect his given word and his story lined up with how most people run into animals. By accident. I swear, if you go hunting you see nothing...go check the mailbox and you get Mutual of Omahas freakin wild kingdom. It wears on me.

What is really strange is that all the report of people seeing these cats are spontanous. Steping outside, running to a concrete pad, hiking, biking or feeding livestock.

I have a theory. As a culture we do a good bit of inside living. We no longer hunt and gather. We have all but surrendered the food chain back to the animals. They are taking full advantage of it. Which is good. I just hope we never inherit Florida's new found problem...large snakes and large gators. Check please...

My buddy also told me a story about a large...large bird. I didnt like the look in his face when he told this story. Sometimes I prefer being lied to.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 9:06PM
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catbird(z7 AL)

There's no telling what's living in the old mines around B'ham. My cousin lives near the post office on Montclair Road and the wooded area across the street from her is riddled with old mines -- and coyotes. There have been efforts to get rid of them, but I don't think they're all gone. She still worries about her cat getting eaten!

[P.S. mr.d: Where in Barbour County was your family from? My mother grew up in Clayton and we used to have a lot of family there.]

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 3:12PM
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There have been reports of big cats, especially mountain lions, in the eastern part of Jefferson county and in St. Clair, Talladega and Calhoun counties since I was a child and I'm now 61 y/o. I do remember sightings between Trussville and Moody (Moody's Crossroads)in the White's Chapel community. There were numerous sightings in Eastaboga in Calhoun county and around Lincoln. BTW, the old concrete pad at Vulcan may have been what remains of a parking lot before it started sliding down Red Mtn. and was closed for safety in the 1970s.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 9:23PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

A neighbor of mine told me his father observed a big cat run across his front yard.Our neighborhood is in Trussville next to all the land between Moody and Trusville and the western half of St Clair county. I have been meaning to speak with his father to get the full story. Supposedly he called one of the Wildlife agencies to report it and was told there are no big cats in the state.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Treeguy, I beg to differ with you on one point. The western cougars are tawny brown alright, I have seen them in zoos, but the Florida strain are much darker almost black. My father heard them squall at night many times when he was a small boy and his mother saw one. This was on Samd Mountain in DeKalb Co.
She thought at first it was one of their black and tan hounds both of which hid under the house when the "panther" squalled.
A couple of years ago while deer hunting in Lee county Al. I saw a large long tailed animal run across the logging road in fromt of me right at dark, ran right through a mud puddle full of water,Lol. The next day I breifly saw a large black cat two or three hundred yards away. It was too big for a house cat, almost as big as a mature bobcat but with a long tail. I concluded it was a young Florida strain cougar.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 3:55PM
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Bamatufa(7 - Trussville, AL)

I have spoken to two people claiming to have seen black cats. One while hunting in or near Jefferson county and another while hunting down near the mouth of Mobile Bay on a river bank. My freind hunting down near Mobile claimed they sat down on a high bluff and watched them. If it is not possible for wild black cats to be in Alabama then these are exotics that have been let loose and possibly breeding. Most people do not realize the pet trade of exotics is just as popular as gardening. its another hobby many are not aware of.People aquire these exotics and let them go because they can not take care of them. The Quaker Parrot is one example of an exotic bird ( native to South America) now outlawed in a few sothern states because they have established wild colonies in these states.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 4:58PM
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I accidentally found this forum and it is very interesting. In the Spring of 2010, my boys and I were hiking in Tannehill State Park. We came upon some tracks that appeared to be large cat tracks (too big to be a Bobcat). I had a camera with me and took several pictures. Three times I have emailed the pictures to state wildlife officials and have never received a response. I was only looking for help identifying the tracks. I never mentioned I suspected they were from a large cat. There seems to be a conspiracy going on. It appears there are large cats in the state but for some reason the state officials do not want confirm it.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 3:04PM
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Steve, attempting to get anyone from the Dept of Conservation to respond to anything is futile. A few years ago the Bham News listed 25 endangered species in Alabama and wanted anyone with information about them to notify the Dept of Conservation. I contacted DoC, Sierra Club and numerous other groups which claim to be pro-conservation. It was 6 months before a professor at Huntington College contacted me. Most of these groups are feel good, fund raising social groups or typical governmentally challenged bureaucrats.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 11:54PM
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I have some friends that live in Plantersville..they have 200 acres and they see a very LARGE black cat from time to time...she told me that thing is huge!
Animals are allot like humans....they make the best out of what they can...and if your loved pet is the best they can do that by 7 dogs and two pot belly pigs are total divas...the only time my babies see the dark is to watch me from inside the glass doors walk down to the GH's to turn the burns on at night...LOL

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 1:49AM
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plantaholic(zone 8a AL)

i saw a panther cross hwy 21 just south of sylacauga near stewartville in coosa county. i was with a friend driving north one june afternoon and a tan colored large cat crossed the road in front of us (near mile marker 100 i believe).

the cat was about 6 ft long and 3 ft high with a long tail. the cat ran along a guardrail before ducking underneath and disappearing into the woods. the cat was as tall as the guardrail. i got a good look, but was unable to get my camera turned on to capture a pic.

they are here in central AL. the main problem would be the govt's duties of setting up the large tracts of protected land to protect and maintain this fed listed species in all these areas where they are now reported. IMHO, its a money issue.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 11:55AM
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They live among us.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 7:50PM
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Yes there sure Are. I live in Central Alabama and boy is it a story. Suffice to say I got a print on my deck nobody can explain and a 18 pound turkey carcass gone, and my wife not wantin to get out of the car at night for fear the big 6 foot long jumping thing might be around..

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 8:26PM
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rosiew(8 GA)

I'm east of y'all in far northern metro Atlanta. A few years ago I heard the most ungodly sound imaginable. Fool neighbor went out with a flashlight to try to locate it - he'd probably had 10 beers by that time of the night. His light picked up only glowing eyes, set wide apart in thick shrubs. The critter left. Next day I went online and found audio of possible animals. Results were panther, totally the same sound I'd heard. Called some state agency to report, can't recall now which one, just know it was the appropriate one. The young fool who answered suggested I go out into the thick undergrowth behind me to see if I could find tracks or scat. Nu-uh, I'm no fool. End of my story.

Think his response gives credence to plantaholic's thoughts. See this, last paragraph, two posts above mine.

Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 2:43PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I saw a bobcat yesterday near Geneva, AL. Wild!! Not a panther, but definitely a BIG CAT!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 10:04AM
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I live in Shelby County too. We have had big cats and coyotes spotted in my neighborhood, which is adjacent to a bit of forest. We are keeping our pets inside after dark, just to be safe.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 4:46PM
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