Its fur is long and gray-brown during the summer and yellow-brown in the winter. It has dark black-brown stipes over the rear of its back. It has black and white markings on the upper lip and above the eyes. Eyes are orange and paws and lower chest are slightly spotted.
The cave lion is usually solitary, but if access to prey is good, 3–5 cave lions may hunt together.
It hunts mainly larger animals; boars, deer, moose or even bears. Humans are only hunted if the food supply is exstremely low. It usually moves slowly and silently as close to its prey as it can, then it will try to outrun its prey over a short distance and club it to the ground with its paws.
The cave lion prefers to hunt at night, but has no problems in daylight if the night shows no results. Cubs will stay with their mother for about three years. A female with young cubs will protect them fiercely. If hunted, the cave lion will try to hide in the bushes. A wounded cave lion will pretend to be dead until it can see a chance to kill or flee.