We have a lot of mountain lions here (Black Hills). Had one put my wife's horse into a fence then chew on its neck for a while.
I don't worry about it though, if it happens it happens, so I just carry my pocket revolver around the place.
How ever, as in the incident you mentioned and I had to go to an area where a cat might still be chewing on my critters, and I had the time, I'd take a rifle.
Did that one time (turned out it was stray dogs killing one of my grandkid's goat) so I took a rifle. I really like my M1 and soft point bullets, its fast and accurate. I shoot it enough I have plenty of confidence in it.
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071