Cougars are carnivorous big cats that can be found in forested areas throughout San Andreas, from the Vinewood Hills to Mount Chiliad. When one is nearby, the first giveaway will often be its loud growl. If the area is populated, pedestrians will usually be seen running away and screaming. When attacking, a cougar will relentlessly charge at its victim, pounce on them, and kill them instantly with a throat bite. Its fast speed means that killing one before it pounces requires quick thinking and reflexes.
In the Hunting minigame, cougars will spawn frequently and they give off a red area circle on the map similar to Deer when Trevor uses the diaphragm, often tricking the player into walking right into an attack.
As in real life, cougars are not tamable and will either run away if the player is driving a vehicle or firing a weapon, or, more likely, attack the player unprovoked, killing them.
- Should the player try to trap a cougar in car in order to take the cougar to an urbanized area, the animal will eventually die for no reason. This was most likely done intentionally on Rockstar's part to keep players from having cougars to kill the whole town.
- Cougars were already featured in Red Dead Redemption, another Rockstar videogame, in which they were one of the animals the player is able to hunt as well as skin, but now cougars are much slower and less aggressive.
- During hunting, Trevor will usually say "I smell a big cat" or "hello, kitty cat!" when a cougar is coming towards him.
- If the player is using Trevor's special ability he can survive the cougar attack, thus leaving no damage to the player.
- Cougars will not attack the player if he is on top of a vehicle.
- Police officers will not engage cougars, even if considered hostile.