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Are There Wild Cats in Alaska? A Quick Look (With Pictures)

Alaska has vast areas of land that make great wildlife habitats. Residents and travelers alike can find bears, moose, sheep, caribou, and even wolves1 living in the wild if they are lucky enough. But when it comes to wild cats living in Alaska, there are only one species that is native to the state. Let’s take a look at this wild cat and go over other information about wild cats that get close to the Alaskan border.


The Only Type of Wild Cat in Alaska

The Lynx

Lynx Wild Cat
Image Credit: Flickr, Pexels
Region Habitation: Canada, United States, Alaska
Size: 19–22 inches/18–24 pounds
Diet: Animal protein

The Lynx is the only wild cat known to live in Alaska. These beautiful animals are most commonly found living in forests and successional communities. These are places where hares and other small prey live in abundance, which is where the Lynx can maintain their nutritional needs as time goes on.

You won’t find the Lynx living in Southeast Alaska or the major islands, like Baranof and Chichagof. Typically, you will find them where hares like to live. Lynx are not considered threatened in any way, but they are cyclically tied to hare populations. Therefore, they are more prominent than the hares.

Lynx living in Alaska tend to weigh between 20 and 30 pounds when fully grown. They typically reproduce at a rate of two to four kittens each litter, and it takes about 60 days for the babies to arrive in the world after being conceived, so at this point, they can repopulate their species in the wild quickly enough to escape the danger of extinction.

If prey is abundant, the survival of the young is strong. Baby and “tween” Lynx resemble domestic cats, although their rough fur may make them look like strays. These cats like to move and can travel up to 5 miles on a given day. They may consider up to 100 square miles of territory to be their home, in which they will defend themselves from others.

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Cougars Could Become the Next Wild Cat Living in Alaska

While cougars (also referred to as mountain lions and pumas) are primarily found living in northern Canada, they seem to be encroaching on Alaskan land. There have been sightings reported to the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Association. Several sightings are registered every few years.

However, no visual reports of note have been made, so there is no credible evidence that cougars are now living in the state of Alaska. Those who are in the know about this type of situation believe that cougars could very well inhabit Alaska at some point. How successful their migration will be remains to be seen.



There is currently only one type of wild cat living in Alaska, the Lynx, but that might change if cougars keep encroaching on the state. For now, you would be lucky to find a group of Lynx hanging out in Alaska. They are typically elusive and hard to spot. However, they are sometimes so bold that they end up playing around on a person’s porch.

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Featured Image Credit: David Selbert, Pexels