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The Cheetah is known as the largest of the small cats and they can still purr.

  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

It is the fastest of all land animals, its light frame, long limbs and sleek, streamline body, was built for speed rather than endurance, they can reach speeds of 110 km/h. Unlike other cats, the Cheetahs claws do not retract, which act like running spikes. They have large lungs and eyes in proportion to their body to help with spotting prey and predators. They size of the lungs are important to help get as much oxygen into the body as possible. In the wild a Cheetah will normally hunt every day and only consume enough to keep them going for between 24/48 hours. Their metabolism is totally different to that of the other big cats.

Key Facts

Medium-sized antelopes such as Thomson’s gazelle, warthogs
Up to 94cm
Life Span:
10-12 years wild - 20 years captivity
Sub-Saharan Africa
Up to 234cm
Up to 70 kilograms
Did you know?
Their long tail works like a rudder to help them change directions quickly!

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