Cheetahs are a member of the felidae, famous for being the “fastest running creatures in the world”.
Its maximum speed is said to be as high as 110 kilometers per hour, but why can cheetahs run so fast?
Once you learn the secrets of a cheetah’s body and speed, you may enjoy watching cheetahs at the zoo.
Now let’s take a sneak peek at what characteristics and secrets cheetahs have!



~ Basic information. ~

Mammalia Carnivora-Felidae-Cheetah genus.


The main habitats of cheetahs are Africa (south of the Sahara Desert), the Middle East, and West Asia.It is said that they prefer savannahs, which are dry and sparsely wooded, but they also live in grassy areas and mountain ranges.

Cheetahs are basically animals that live alone, but they can also form very small flocks. There is no fixed breeding season, and when a child is born, child rearing is done only by females.

When children grow up, they live away from their mothers, but at first, they form a herd of only children and hunt together. And when they are able to hunt with just one animal, they live in different places one by one.

Their hunting method is short-term, and they walk around the animals they prey on, taking advantage of their tremendous speed to attack them all at once.

However, instead of always playing at speed, they may sneak up on you like a panther and attack you little by little at a closer distance.

Cheetahs are diurnal, mainly active in the light, but this is thought to be due to the fact that they rely on their eyesight to hunt and to stagger their eating time with other carnivores such as lions.




Cheetah’s Q&A.

How fast can a cheetah run?

Cheetahs are the fastest running animals, with a maximum speed is about 113 kilometers per hour.

By the way, the fastest human being can run is “Usain Bolt”, a former track and field athlete from Jamaica, whose maximum speed is about 45 kilometers per hour. When you compare them like this, you can clearly see that cheetahs are very fast.


How can a cheetah run so fast?

This is because the body of a cheetah is different from other felines in that it has an advantage in order to run faster.


Basically, feline animals can take their toenails in and out freely, but cheetah toenails are left out and cannot be retracted.To use an analogy, it would be easier to understand if you think of it as a situation where humans are always wearing spiked shoes.

In addition to these claws, cheetahs can also run faster than any animal by making use of their springy and soft spine, long legs, low air resistance, and a tail that is about half the length of their body.

Is it true that cheetahs can’t run long?

It’s true.

Cheetah’s body specializes in running fast, so he can reach maximum speed within three seconds of starting to run. Instead, I don’t have much stamina and can’t run for long.On average, they chase their prey at about 170 meters, and the success of the hunt is often determined within 20 seconds of starting the hunt.


Are cheetahs good hunters?

The success rate of cheetah hunting is said to be 40-50% (4-5 out of 10 times). For this reason, it is one of the highest in the feline animals.

Cheetahs use their speed to hunt their prey well, but they can’t hunt right after birth. Cheetah’s mothers take their children hunting from a young age, showing them the actual hunt and letting them practice.

Although cheetahs have a high success rate in hunting, they live alone and are not as powerful as lions and hyenas. Therefore, even if you go to the trouble of catching prey, it is often taken away from you.


What is the difference between a cheetah and a leopard?

Cheetahs and leopards are carnivores of the felidae with similar mottled patterns and similar habitats.They look very similar, but if you want to tell the difference between a cheetah and a leopard, you should pay attention to their faces and feet.

The face of a cheetah has a unique pattern called the “tears mark” that connects the top of the eyes to the mouth, but leopards do not have this pattern.This pattern has the effect of reducing the glare of light, and is thought to be useful when hunting.

Cheetahs also have elongated legs relative to their bodies, giving them a model-like body shape.On the other hand, the legs of a leopard are balanced against its body, giving it the appearance of a larger version of a pet cat.Many zoos keep both cheetahs and leopards, so be sure to compare them.


How does a child cheetah have a mane?

Many people think of lions when they think of feline animals with manes.However, cheetahs are also known to have bushy silver manes when they are children and disappear when they become adults.

Why do children’s cheetahs have manes? Even now, the reason for this is not clearly understood.There are a number of theories, such as whether they grow to block the heat of the sun, or whether they help hide in the grass.


What kind of cheetah is a king cheetah?

A “king cheetah” is a cheetah created by mutation, in which spots are connected to form a band-like pattern.In the past, it was thought to be a different kind from a normal cheetah, but now it is known to be the same kind just with a different pattern.

King cheetahs are rare in the wild and in captivity, but they are kept in several zoos in Japan.

※The image above is not identified as a King Cheetah, so it is just a reference image.

What enemies do cheetahs have?

The natural enemies of cheetahs living in Africa are carnivores such as lions, leopards, and hyenas. Cheetahs often have their children eaten or their prey snatched by these carnivores.

Also, for cheetahs, we humans are actually one of their natural enemies. Cheetahs tend to be more mature, less aggressive, and more comfortable with humans than other felines.For this reason, there has been no end to the number of people who have caught wild cheetahs and used them for hunting like hounds or kept them as pets.


In addition, people opened up places for cheetahs to live and developed them as farmland and housing. They also caught the wild animals that lived there and used them as food.As a result, cheetahs have lost their place to live, their food, and their friends, and their population in the wild is decreasing year by year.



Type of Cheetah.

・Asiatic Cheetah
・African Cheetah


今泉 忠明(2004年)『野生ネコの百科』データハウス

環境省「9 大型ネコ類〈ライオン、ジャガー、チーター、トラ、チーター〉」

ナショナル ジオグラフィック「チーター、狩りでオーバーヒートせず」


BUSINESS INSIDER JAPAN「時速45キロ!陸上・ボルトのスピードをさまざまな動物と比べてみた」


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The translation tool uses “meta translation”.