Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

The leopard and the cheetah are two large cats with very similar mottled fur. In some cases, we consider leopards and cheetahs the same, while this leads to confusion between the different species. However, Leopards and Cheetahs do not have as many things in common as it may seem, from their size and spots to the natural habitat in which they live. Everything I think the difference between leopard and cheetah is quite discreet while both have the same body design and similar marks on their body. The main difference between leopard and cheetah is that Leopard has a slimmer build than Cheetah which is much more muscular and bulky.

Leopard Vs. Cheetah

Cheetah normally has a slimmer build as this chase and kill their prey. Being the fastest land animal on earth, the cheetahs must have a slim build to be streamlined and more efficient when running. On the other hand, A leopard has a more muscular build. They are ambush predators, that is, they stalk their prey and pounce on them when they are within range of attack. The cheetah’s tail is quite flat and acts as a rudder on an airplane. They help to corner and changing direction at speeds in excess of 81 kilometers per hour. The leopard’s tail is more robust and tubular. It acts as a counterweight and helps the animal climb trees and drag its prey to a tree.

The main and significant difference between them is their skin. Cheetahs have light black spots all over their bodies. On the other hand, the leopard has irregular rose-shaped spots called rosettes on its body. Also, the cheetah has black tear-shaped stripes that run from the corner of their eyes to their cheeks. These are theorized to help absorb blinding sunlight and reduce glare in the intense heat of Saharan Africa. Light black tear-shaped stripes spots are completely absent on the leopard’s face.

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah In Tabular Form

Difference Between leopard and cheetah

Some other differences between leopards and cheetahs are listed below: (read)

  • Cheetahs have a Black “tear” line that absorbs reflections when hunting on sunny days. While Leopards have No “tear” line.
  • Cheetahs are lighter and taller. On the other hand, leopards are Voluminous and strong.
  • Cheetahs are Lankier than the shape of a cat. Whereas, Leopards are Familiar with cat shapes.
  • Cheetahs hunt during the day. While Leopards can hunt at night.
  • Cheetah feeds on grassy plains, and leopards drag the prey to the tree.
  • Cheetahs have Smaller teeth and jaws. Whereas, leopards have Larger teeth and jaws.
  • Cheetah can’t climb trees. While leopards climb trees through retractable claws.

Similarities B/w Leopards and Cheetahs

  • They are members of the Felidae family. The cheetah is generally found in Africa, the savanna grasslands, and only in some parts of Iran.
  • Leopards are found in most forest habitats, mountains, and desert regions.
  • The cheetahs hunt during the day and are very sociable while leopards hunt at night and live a solitary life.
  • Cheetahs are fast and can run at a speed of 111-115 km / h, whereas leopards can run at a speed of 51 to 60 km / h.
  • Leopards are very good tree climbers as they can easily climb with the help of their retractable claws while cheetahs can’t climb trees.
  • Cheetahs have smaller jaws, teeth with a larger nasal cavity for rapid breathing while leopards have powerful teeth and jaws that can crush thick bones.


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