Pit Bull Vs. Mountain Lion: Which Animal Would Win A Fight?

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Written by Crystal

Updated: May 25, 2023

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It’s time for a pit bull vs. mountain lion animal battle!

Pit bulls aren’t naturally aggressive. But given proper training, they make great guard dogs. They’ll go above and beyond to defend the household. If a wild mountain lion comes into the pit bull’s yard, it’ll be game on!

Pit bulls are fast enough to outrun a human within seconds, and their powerful jaws can deliver a lot of damage. At the same time, the agile mountain lion is known for reaching speeds of 50 mph and killing prey with a single bite!

Who do you think will win? Will it be the large predatory mountain lion? Or the loyal pit bull defending their home? Let’s see how this animal battle plays out!

Pit Bull

Gray and white American bully pocket on grass

The pit bull will be ready to fight when it sees the mountain lion invading its property!

©Rock City Kennels / CC BY 2.0 – Original / License

Running into the ring at the sound of their name, it’s our first competitor, a large pit bull. Pit bulls aren’t an actual breed of dog. The term covers a variety of breeds, such as the Staffordshire bull terrier and American Staffordshire terrier.

Pit bulls are one of the most tolerant dog breeds, similar to golden retrievers. They’re generally calm and playful, but that all changes when facing a threat. The pit bull will be ready to fight when it sees the mountain lion invading its property!

Mountain Lion

Mountain lion on a rock

This carnivorous cat is large and has expert hunting skills.

©Holly Kuchera/Shutterstock.com

Pouncing into the ring, our second challenger is the mountain lion. Mountain lions belong to the big cat family. They are large and have expert hunting skills. These cats go by many names, including puma, cougar, and panther, and live throughout North and South America. This carnivorous cat loves dining on elk, dear, rabbits, and other animals. They’re used to going after meals that run away, not ones that stand and fight. Will this mountain lion know what to do when encountering an angry pit bull?

Pit Bull Vs. Mountain Lion

Animal Battle FactorsPit BullMountain Lion
Physical Stats21-inch shoulder height
50 pounds
30 mph
2-foot shoulder height
140 pounds
50 mph
Attack AbilitiesFiercely loyal
Powerful jaws
Shaking hold maneuver
Bite force 235 PSI
Jaws are powerful but don’t lock
2-inch-long canines
2-inch-long claws
Bite force 400 PSI
Predatory SkillsHigh prey drive
Fast speed
High prey drive
Fast speed
Jumps 18 feet vertically
Leaps 40 feet horizontally

The pit bull vs. mountain lion animal battle compares each species’ physical stats, attack abilities, and predatory skills. By the end of round three, the animal with the most advantages will be the champion! Is it going to be team dog or team cat? Let’s find out!

Round 1: Physical Stats

Round one focuses on our competitor’s physical stats, like their size, speed, and other physical characteristics. The champion of round one must have the top advantage for the overall category. Let’s start with our canine contender, the pit bull.

Pit bulls have a height between 18 to 21 inches. On average, they weigh between 30 to 65 lb. makes them medium-sized dogs. Females are usually smaller, with a height of 17 to 20 inches and an average weight of 30 to 50 pounds.

Mountain lions have a shoulder height of 2 to 3 feet. On average, they weigh between 120 to 220 pounds. Females are usually smaller for this species, with a top weight of 140 pounds.

Mountain lions are taller and heavier than pit bulls. But that won’t be enough to instantly win this round. We also have to look at how fast each competitor can move. Speed is a major factor in the animal kingdom when charging prey or evading threats. A short burst of speed and a well-placed attack can be all it takes to win this fight.

Pit bulls are a speedy breed and can reach speeds of 30 mph. However, they don’t have the same stamina as mountain lions. A pit bull can only run for a few miles before tiring. The same lack of stamina isn’t true for our feline competitor. Mountain lions are used to covering a lot of ground in search of prey. And they’re fast! Mountain lions can comfortably reach speeds of 30 mph; they top out at 50 mph. They regularly roam the forest at a quick pace of 10 miles per hour, helping them cover more ground in search of prey.

Round 2: Attack Abilities

Both of our competitors have powerful jaws that deliver a deadly bite. But whose bite will have the final say in this animal battle?

Using a bite force of 400 PSI, mountain lions dig their 2-in long canine teeth into the neck or head of prey. Their bite isn’t as strong as a tiger‘s or a lion’s, but it’s still deadly. Sometimes they sever the spinal cord with a single attack!

Our second challenger can also deliver a lot of damage with a single chomp. Pit bulls have one of the strongest bites of any dog breed. Their bite force measures 235 PSI. Their strong jaws can apply 300 pounds of pressure.

Along with a strong bite, pit bulls also have a special head-shaking maneuver. After biting the mountain lion, the pit bull would use a violent head shake to deliver the most damage, ripping their victim’s flesh. But the mountain lion is powerful; this kitty will have enough stamina to return the dog’s attack.

Returning the attack, the mountain lion could use its powerful paw swipe to knock the pit bull away. Then the massive cat could charge the canine before pouncing and tackling him to the ground. Once the mountain lion has the advantage, it’ll dig its claws and teeth into its competitor, making escape unlikely.

Round Three: Predatory Skills

This is the final round of our animal battle! The last round will be the determining factor. Will the domesticated pit bull stand a chance of beating the big mountain lion?

Bred to chase livestock, pit bulls have a high prey drive. That’s why they’re so passionate about games like fetch. To the pit bull, the tennis ball is prey. And in this animal battle, the mountain lion is drawing all of the pit bull’s intense prey drive energy. The dog is fixated on the big cat. But will that be enough to gain the upper hand against a skilled hunter?

Not only are mountain lions also driven to chase after prey, but they also practice the skill every single day. Sometimes a mountain lion has to stalk prey for hours before making its move. When it’s time to attack, it uses agility and speed to gain the advantage.

Pit bulls can satisfy their prey drive when they play fetch with their owner. But chasing after a tennis ball isn’t the same as stalking and hunting a live animal. And even if a pit bull was chasing after other animals daily, it’s unable to do so with the same stamina as the mountain lion.

The pit bull would tire out after a few miles of hunting prey, but the mountain lion can keep going mile after mile. Face to face, the mountain lion will have plenty of energy to continue its attack, unlike the exhausted pit bull.

Who Will Be The Winner?

Mountain lion with forest background

These big cats are used to taking down animals as large as elk to survive.

©Evgeniyqw/Shutterstock.com

The mountain lion is the winner! Mountain lions are bigger, stronger, faster, and more experienced with fighting. These big cats are used to taking down animals as large as elk to survive. Of course, fighting the pit bull will be much more difficult than fighting a deer or elk.

If the pit bull can bite the mountain lion, it’ll deliver a lot of damage using a shake-and-hold technique. However, the bite of a pitbull pales in comparison to the fatal bite of a mountain lion. Once the big cat bites the pit bull’s neck or head, it’ll be lights out. This animal battle is a win for team kitty cats.


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About the Author

Crystal is a dedicated writer at A-Z Animals, focusing on topics related to mammals, insects, and travel. With over a decade of experience in the world of research and writing, she also fulfills the role of a skilled video and audio engineer. Residing in sunny Florida, alligators are Crystal's favorite animal.

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