Brit cat lover adopts wild puma and takes him for walks on a lead

A cat lover adopted a puma cub as a pet after the young predator was rejected by his mother.

Lauren Thompson, 22, has been dubbed ‘Big Cat Mum’ for her knack of caring for the animals.

And she says one-year-old Pumpkin is just like any other pet.

Lauren, nicknamed Pixie, said: “Pumpkin just acts like a big cat. He likes cuddly toys. He would sit on my lap and have a cuddle.”

The puma even goes for walks on a lead and likes playing with Lauren’s Border Collie, Bowie. Lauren said: “He was quite protective over me on walks, but he wasn’t aggressive. He’s just so cute. As soon as he sees me, he starts purring.

“He would come sniffing over when I was eating and try anything. He didn’t like Wotsits though – he spat them straight back out.”

Lauren, from Plymouth, Devon, is head keeper at The Cornwall Nature Conservancy sanctuary for endangered animals.

There she has played mum to felines including Scottish wildcats, ocelot, servals and jaguarundi. She adopted Pumpkin when he was just a few hours old after he was deserted by his mum.

Lauren, who lives with parents Bruce and Lisa, said people could not believe their eyes when they first met her pet puma.

She said: “When guests came round to my parents’ house, they didn’t think he was real.

“My uncle came over and he didn’t believe it, he just kept saying, ‘That’s not a puma’.”

Pumpkin, who now weighs eight stone and is two feet tall, is set for a move to the sanctuary after becoming too big to stay in the house.

Lauren added: “I will miss him. I knew Pumpkin wouldn’t be able to stay forever.

“He was never aggressive. He was lovely but he’s stronger now, he needs his own space. They can’t be domesticated. One day they will be all right and the next they could kill you.”

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