Top 10 major differences between cheetahs & leopards


– Leopards have rosette-shaped spots. Cheetahs have solid round, or oval, spots.

– Leopards have no “tear” line. Cheetahs have a black “tear” line running from the inside of the eye to the mouth.

– Leopards are bulkier and stronger. Cheetahs are lighter, but taller, than leopards.

– Leopards have a familiar “cat” shape. Cheetahs are lankier than the “cat” shape.

– Leopards hunt at night. Cheetahs hunt during the day.

– Leopards like to drag prey up trees. Cheetahs prefer grassy plains.

– Leopards rely on stealth. Cheetahs rely on speed (up to 113 km/hr) over short distances. They are the world’s fastest animal.

– Leopards have strong teeth and jaws and can crunch through thick bones.

– Cheetahs have smaller teeth and jaws, leaving a larger nasal cavity for rapid breathing. They cannot crunch large bones.

– Leopards live a solitary life while cheetahs are more social (mother and cubs; males sometimes form coalitions, yet they never mix with females; except during reproduction).

– Leopards climb trees for they have retractile claws while cheetahs don’t.

– The cheetah can run at a speed of 113 km/hr while leopards do 60 km/hr.

– The two black lines below the cheetah’s eyes are known as tear marks, and act as reflection absorbers while they are hunting during sunny days.

Check out even more major differences in Part Two.

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  • rich

    nice article Michael, very informative and I am sure helpful to a lot of people who want to understand the differences. Thank You.

  • yeow

    good for more imformation

  • Sadie

    I did my nails today. Thought it was cheetah print. Showed my cousin. She made me read this. Now she can’t correct me anymore. Thanks!! Haha it was leopard print!

  • Dolvin Paul

    I know only one difference , now i know nine other.
    thanks to Michael.


    It was so good and I brought it for my teacher. thanks for your good article . My name is Fatemeh Kababi from Islamic Republic of Iran. THANKS

  • sujith

    Very informative. Thanks!

  • Surojit Bhattacharjee

    Now my confusion is cleared !! Informative article…Thanks!!

  • Aiden Cherniske

    Good comparisons

  • rico

    nice article man 😉

  • tobbie shuuya

    thanks for your good article,now my confusion is cleared,very informative,thanks

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  • Niyaish

    Really descriptive and nice

  • G81 2PT

    Can cheatas take prey up trees