Cheetah Facts



  • Unlike most cats, cheetahs can hardly retract their claws at all. The claws grip the ground as they run, like the spikes on a sprinter’s shoes.
  • A cheetah can accelerate from 0 to 72 km/h in 2 seconds, and can reach a top speed of 120 km/h.
  • A silver vase (c.2300 Bc), found in the Caucasus, shows a cheetah in a collar, which suggests people used cheetahs then as hunting animals.
  • The 16th-century Mogul emperor Akbar kept 1000 cheetahs, which he used to hunt blackbuck.
  • Cheetahs have the same body length as leopards, but stand a good 35 cm taller on their long legs.
  • In the Kalahari Desert, cheetahs can survive for 10 days without water by eating wild melons.
  • Young male cheetahs often hunt in small groups (coalitions), and are heal t hier than solitary males.
  • A cheetah will chase a warthog that runs, but will usually leave one that stands its ground.
  • If a cheetah does not catch its prey in the first 300 to 400 m of the chase, it gives up and allows its heart beat to return to normal.
  • Cheetahs avoid lions, which will kill them.
  • Cheetahs often sit on rocks or termite mounds to get a better all-round view when resting.