Welcome to Cougartown

I have recently been discussing with various people the correct definition of a cougar. This topic has come up in conversation for absolutely no reason at all, why do you ask?

A search of such illustrious sources as wikipedia and urban dictionary have revealed that there appears to be no consensus on what constitutes a cougar. Opinions I’ve heard expressed include:

  • you have to be at least 35 years old
  • you definitely have to be more than 40 years old
  • anyone over 30 can be a cougar
  • there’s no minimum age limit – it’s all about the age differential
  • age limits don’t count if you don’t look your age*
  • without the leopard print spandex and skin that’s been tanned so many times it looks like leather, you ain’t a cougar
  • you want to poke your friend’s son? That makes you a cougar – regardless of your age.

But then, when I was having dinner with my friend, Alicia, she informed me of “the formula for calculating if you are cougar.” She assures me that this formula has been scientifically validated:

( your age ÷ 2 ) + 7

For example, if you are, let’s say for a completely arbitrary example, 29 years old, then your minimum age limit would be:

( 29 ÷ 2 ) + 7 = 21.5… which you round up to 22

–> if go for a guy under 22, you are a cougar.

Discussing this formula with some other friends, I was informed by Kyle that there is a similar “hockey player formula”= ( your age ÷ 2 ) –> hockey players can go for anyone who is over half their age**.

So, I’m interested in your opinion: what, exactly, are the requirements of being a cougar?

*I may or may not have been the person expressing this opinion.
**And we all know what an avid hockey player I am. I’m just saying.

Comments |6|

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  • Is my mother considered a cougar when she tries to date (and/or poke) my friends?



  • A cougar is a woman slightly past her prime who tries to pick up younger men (maybe not half her age, but anywhere between 10-15+ years younger than her.) She doesn’t have to be a specific age, she just has to look like she’s trying too hard to look younger than she is.


  • “…she just has to look like she’s trying too hard to look younger than she is”

    uh oh… right now I have turquoise nail polish on… does that make me a cougar?


  • cougar-ness is not about age, or fingernails, it is about the ability to be a predator.

    As far as I know, you’ve not taken to lurking in dark corners and stalking man meat. Or to scratching out the competition with your manicured turquoise claws. So, no, Beth. You are not a cougar. Sorry. Call me when you start eating your meat raw.

    okay, feminist rant on:
    It pisses me off to no end that women even ask this question. Like there are two stages to a woman’s life – your prime and then everything after, where you can only be compared to Bea Arthur’s vagina. Stupid patriarchy.
    :rant off

    thinking about this – if we based it on their clothing, cougars would be called lepoards. Or lycras.


  • Leave it to Jody to bring some good common sense and feminism into the discussion. I appreciate the reassurances that I have not yet reached cougartown, and that I should not even be asking such a question… you are right… I mean, no one ever called Anna Nicole Smith’s husband a cougar, did they?


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