Mountain Lion or Dog Track?

One of our local trackers, Kim Cabrera, said that “almost once a week, someone will send a photo of a track that is allegedly a mountain lion. However, 99% of those turn out to be dog tracks.”

She prepared a video below to walk you through how to tell which is which. 

For more on how to tell the difference between the two tracks, check out her website here.



  • Thank you Kim and Kym, that was one of the most useful things I have seen on the internet in a while. It is stuff like this that redeems the internet from being a vomitorium of the intellect.

  • Yep! Kim’s videos and her skill at tracking are awesome! Thanks for posting, Kym!

  • Some of the clearest mountain lion tracks I’ve come across…

  • As someone who spends time in areas where mountain lions would be, I so appreciate this lesson. I have scared myself, out the woods, & back to the car, more than once, because of tracks I coukd not identify. Now I have a much better idea. It was eady to understand, and very informative. Thank you so much for taking the time.

  • Loved the explanations! Kim does a great job explaining!!!

    How many years have you been “tracking”?

  • Thanks Kim, for the informative video and thanks Kym, for bringing it to us!

  • Kim
    My first clue as to whether it is a cat track or a dog track is the dog track has an obvious hole in the middle of the foot, a cat track is filled in the middle and more of a pad. And, of course the dog has toenails.

    Thanks for the video. I’d bet that you don’t ever have a problem identifying a track at first glance.

  • Thank you so much Kim and Kym!!! It makes my day to learn something new!!! Thank you again!!!

  • Excellent video! Thank you!

  • Lost Croat Outburst

    Just loved it! I always only looked for claw marks for a dog, none for the cat. Now, a whole new world of observation is mine. The explanation on cat vs. canine hunting strategies and their claws is classic. Explains why the most dog-like cats, cheetahs, are the only felines with non-retractable claws.

  • Thanks everyone! Glad you liked it! DaveH – those are beautiful tracks! Ernie, that’s another good clue. Thanks, Spinnerholm!

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