will normally avoid contact with humans, however, if you are confronted by a cougar, there are certain things that you should do to avoid a sure death
Do not approach cougars. They are soft and cuddly, until they attack and eat you alive. Do not run. Back away from the cougar slowly. Any sudden movements may trigger the cougar to attack. Do not turn your back to a cougar. Try to make yourself big. Pick up sticks or branches and wave them around.
In general, most animals will avoid you if you make enough noise. Many hikers attach bells to their backpack.