Cheetahs are an incredible species and are the world’s fastest land animal with a top speed of 70 miles per hour. They can accelerate from 0 to 70 in just 3 seconds! This means that they are faster than most modern sports cars! Unfortunately, the species is currently classified as critically endangered, which means that protecting cheetahs has never been more important. It’s also worth noting that not all cheetahs reside in Africa like many people presume – with some cheetah species living in Central Asia. While these cheetahs share many similar features, they also have some different characteristics such as their weigh

Cheetahs’ spots may serve as camouflage for both hunting and hiding. Their spots may offset the shadows in the gray-hued grasses they often inhabit, allowing them to blend in with their surroundings. Camouflage is essential not only for stalking prey, but also for protecting cheetah cubs from predators. A cheetah cub’s smoky gray mantle may serve as added camouflage among dead grasses. Much like a human fingerprint, a cheetah’s spots and the ring pattern of its tail are unique, enabling researchers in the field to identify individuals.

The cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal. With acceleration that would leave most automobiles in the dust, a cheetah can go from zero to 60 miles an hour in only three seconds. Wild cheetahs are thought to be able to reach speeds of nearly 70 miles an hour—although they can only sustain that speed for about 30 seconds. These cats are nimble at high speeds, able to make quick and sudden turns in pursuit of prey.

Physical Characteristics Of Adult Cheetahs

Adult cheetahs’ weight averages between 75 and 125 pounds. They can measure from 40 to 60 inches in length, measured from the head to the hind quarters. The tail can add a further 24 to 32 inches bringing the total overall length up to 7.5 feet. On average, cheetahs stand 28 to 36 inches tall at the shoulder.

The cheetah is a sexually dimorphic species though it is difficult to identify cheetahs’ sex by appearance alone. Male cheetahs are slightly bigger than females and they have larger heads, but they do not display the same degree of physical difference between the sexes of other big cat species like lions.

Cheetah Appearance

The Cheetah is a tall and elegant cat in appearance. Large chest, narrow waist, long thin legs, and a slim well muscled build this animal was definitely made for speed. The Cheetahs coat varies from a tawny to golden tone covered in a pattern of solid black spots averaging .75″-1.5″ in diameter. The Cheetahs beautiful pelt became more protected in 1970, when the fur trade regulations were strengthened. The fur is coarse to the touch not silky as it appears. The Cheetahs long thick tail has spots, which turn into rings and at the end is tipped with white. The throat and abdomen are a creamy white in color. The Cheetah has a small head with high set eyes and short rounded ears tipped with white on the back. The most well known characteristic is however the distinct black “tear mark”, which runs from the inside corner of the eye down to the corner of the mouth.


An adult cheetah weighs 75 to 140 pounds (34 to 64 kilograms), is about 30 inches (77 centimeters) tall at the shoulder and 44 to 56 inches (112 to 142 centimeters) long with another 26 to 33 inches (66 to 84 centimeters) in tail length. Males are slightly larger than females. Cheetahs are sometimes confused with leopards—a much heavier animal with rosette-shaped spots and no tear marks.

Native Habitat

Cheetahs inhabit a broad section of Africa including areas of North Africa, the Sahel, eastern and southern Africa. Over the past 50 years, cheetahs have become extinct in at least 13 countries, and they are most prevalent in Kenya and Tanzania in east Africa, and Namibia and Botswana in southern Africa. The Asiatic cheetah is known to survive in Iran, but is critically endangered. Cheetahs thrive in areas with vast expanses of land where prey is abundant. In Namibia, cheetahs live in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, savannahs, dense vegetation and mountainous terrain. As human development expands in to their preferred habitat, cheetahs can now commonly be found on commercial farms.

What Type Of Animal Is Cheetah?

Cheetahs are members and types of wild cat families, which also include leopards, tigers, pumas, and snow leopards.

What Class Of Animal Does An African Cheetah Belong To?

Cheetahs belong to the class Mammalia and phylum Chordata. South African cheetah had vanished from Namibia and now is being reintroduced and are mostly found in eastern and northern locations of South Africa.

How Many Cheetahs Are There In The World?

There are only 7,100 cheetahs left in the world and their survival is a big doubt. Their population is decreasing.

Where Does An African Cheetah Live?

They are mainly found in the southern and eastern range of the Sahara desert, wide grasslands, bushy areas, and farmlands where they can openly hunt for medium-sized animals.

How Long Does Cheetah Live?

Males live for around eight years in the wildlife because of conflict going in the territory of males and the female cheetahs live an average life span of 10-12 years in the wildlife.

How Do They Reproduce?

South African cheetah breeding takes place throughout the year when the male and female reach the age of 20-23 months or sometimes maybe 18 months. There is an estrous cycle in females which lasts for 12 days and the females can mate with one or more males. Then both males and females can mate two to three times a day in this period. The gestation period is of 90-95 days and the mother finds a suitable place for the birth of the cheetah cub which is safe from predators. Once cubs are born, the mother decides to live with the cheetah cubs.

What Do African Cheetahs Look Like?

The South African cheetah’s (Acinonyx jubatus) physical appearance has a coat of fur with black spots and a long tail of about 23.6-31.5 in (60-80 cm). They have a total head and body length of around 43.3-59 in (110–150 cm) and weighs between 46.3-158.7 lb (21-72 kg). The fur coat is of grayish-white, tawny color and there are black spots on the last part of the long tail. There are markings of tears under the eye for focusing on prey. Cheetah cubs are colored in a way that they look like honey badgers. The tail is about two-thirds of the body length of adults. The flat surface at the end of the tip of the tail acts in acing the direction, also the tail stretches to balance while taking turns. Cheetahs have larger and wider paws more like a dog rather than cats but they have canine teeth like other large cats. They are wildlife large predators and catch the prey with their pawn and tear them easily. This cat family is known for their great speed as they grow from cubs to adults.

How Cute Are They?

Cheetah cubs are obviously cuter than cheetahs. They are playful and adorable to watch, but it does not take much time for them to become predators as adults, from a cute cub. The growth of a cheetah cub is very different from their counterparts in the wild.

How Fast Can Cheetah Run?

The estimated running speeds of these wild animals are around 49.7-80.7 mph (80-130 kph), which is an appropriate speed to chase and hunt prey. The running speed of young cheetahs or cubs are also around 49.7 mph (80 kph).

How Much Does An African Cheetah Weigh?

Cheetahs generally weigh between 46.3-158.7 lb (21-72 kg), while young cheetahs or cubs are only 8.8 oz (250 g) at birth.

What Are The Male And Female Names Of The Species?

The male population is called male cheetahs and the female population is called female cheetahs. These land animals have subspecies in the wild, having the same range of speed in the wildlife.

Threats To Survival

Cheetah populations are under pressure as the open grasslands they favor are disappearing to human occupation and development. Given their solitary lives and the size of their home ranges, cheetahs need large areas of connected habitat—likely upwards of 3,800 square miles—to find mates and ultimately survive as a species. However, human settlements have fragmented their habitat, and most protected areas are not large enough to sustain cheetah populations.

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