What Does a Cheetah Eat?

Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), like other wild animals, must fight for survival. Cheetahs hunt by sight from high points such as termite mounds or kopjes (small rocky hills).

Predators feed on various antelope species, including Thomson’s gazelle and Grant’s gazelle as well as hares and birds. When encountering people, attacks will only occur out of self-defense.


Cheetahs are carnivorous animals renowned for their carnivorous diet consisting of small to medium-sized antelope and gazelles as well as calves from larger herd animals such as goats. Additionally, their diet includes birds, rodents, and sometimes rabbits; although fresh kill is preferred over scavenged prey. Cheetahs inhabit many habitats across Africa yet are best known for their speed in hunting prey.

Diurnal hunters are usually active during the morning or afternoon, using various tactics to pursue and capture prey, including climbing trees or termite mounds to gain an advantageous vantage point and using scent detection to detect their quarry. When marking their territory with urine or defecation they also rely on their strong sense of smell to detect prey before marking with urine marking their territory as further proof.

Cheetahs, like other members of the feline family, tend to be solitary creatures who largely inhabit areas with savanna grasslands or dense bush cover – although they do well in any climate except desert and tropical ones.

Cheetahs can be found throughout Africa and some parts of southwestern Asia in their natural environments, where they are adept at concealment while running at speeds reaching 120 kilometers per hour.

Cheetahs often prey upon Thomson’s gazelle, particularly where their populations are high, though they also hunt other small to medium-sized antelope like springbok and impala as well as birds, hares and other small prey such as rabbits or birds. Unfortunately they have limited success hunting herd animals like zebras and wildebeest due to being protected by larger predators that protect them and because these don’t run as quickly.

Cheetahs utilize heavy breathing and panting as they hunt, to vent excess heat from their bodies and release heat that builds up during chases that often reach temperatures as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit, often leaving them exhausted within minutes. They have developed adaptations such as larger kidneys for faster excretion of fluids, longer legs for faster sprinting speed, unretractable claws that don’t retract as easily, unretractable claws with unretractable claw pads for traction, as well as special paw pads adapted specifically for such intense physical activity.

Cheetahs are not man-eaters and will only attack humans out of self-defense when threatened. As keystone species, they should be preserved within natural reserves and parks for future generations to enjoy.


Cheetahs, as one of the fastest land animals on Earth, utilize camouflage in their natural habitat of grasslands and savannahs to effectively blend into their surroundings. Their spots blend in perfectly with their environment allowing them to hunt efficiently for prey without fear.

Cheetahs use sight rather than scent to locate their prey, scanning the countryside from termite mounds and kopjes (small, rocky hills) during the day to locate targets. When they spot their target, cheetahs creep closer until the ideal moment to unleash its powerful sprint and seize it with their jaws; once caught they clamp down hard on its windpipe for an suffocating hold that kills their prey quickly.

Cheetahs are carnivorous animals and do not consume vegetables or fruits for sustenance; instead they prefer gazelles and small antelopes for their meat intake. Cheetahs may occasionally chew grass to help digest their meals more easily as eating exclusively meat may sometimes cause bloating and stomach issues; the grass helps digest parts that cannot be broken down such as feathers.

Cheetahs, like other large cat species, tend to be solitary animals. Female cheetahs generally live and hunt alone or with groups of females with their offspring; adult males frequently form coalitions which share territories; these male coalitions can include two or three brothers as members and, when female cheetahs reach sexual maturity at 21/2 to 3 years of age, will often join one.

Cheetahs may prefer hunting wild species, but they have also been known to prey upon domestic livestock animals. This usually happens when sick, injured, or old and young livestock animals become vulnerable and vulnerable predators take action against them. In order to reduce livestock predation and protect their livestock against predators more efficiently, farmers should keep their cattle in kraals or take other preventive measures against predation.


Cheetahs in the wild are carnivores and prefer eating animal flesh. With an advanced digestive system designed to break down prey such as fur or feathers, they can consume up to 10 kilograms of meat at one sitting – usually small antelopes, gazelles or birds; their success at hunting may vary between 14% – 100% depending on species targeted; grass also provides digestive relief during digestion of their meal.

Cheetahs typically hunt during the day to avoid conflict with other large carnivores like lions and leopards that might attempt to claim their kills. At full speed they can reach speeds up to 128kph when hunting their prey – their long thin legs provide additional momentum when tracking prey down.

Cheetahs use their tails as an invaluable asset when hunting, using it to track prey and spot other predators approaching from a distance. Cheetahs also use them to mark their territory – the tip has a bushy tuft surrounded by five to six dark rings to help mark it and conceal them among tall grass.

Cheetahs can kill animals as large as giraffes, but only if it presents an easy target. In general, they prefer hunting smaller prey quickly so as to restore energy quickly for another hunt or rest before proceeding further with hunting activities. Cheetahs in the wild can live for 12 years on average.

Cheetahs do not typically hunt elephants; however, if injured or cornered they will kill one as needed. Unfortunately their speed makes adult elephants too slow for capture so instead they prefer hunting young antelopes and gazelles instead.

Although cheetahs do kill humans, they do it only in self-defense. Though very fast (they can reach 100 miles per hour!), cheetahs lack endurance of larger predators like lions and bears – so they will only attack humans if they perceive a threat to themselves and their cubs.


Cheetahs are carnivorous animals, meaning that they consume meat exclusively. Their diet varies depending on which animals they hunt; typically these include small antelope such as springbok, steenbok, duiker, impala and gazelles as well as their young. Warthogs, oryx, kudu and hartebeest young are also commonly consumed alongside game birds and rabbits.

Cheetahs typically only consume other plants if their prey has nowhere else to run; otherwise they tend to avoid plant matter as it can give them stomachaches.

Cheetahs differ from other large cats in that they do not normally scavenge for food or eat corpses; in the wild they only consume fresh, live meat while avoiding animal carcasses that have been dead for prolonged periods. When kept as captive pets they consume muscle meats from domesticated animals such as cows, donkeys, chickens, and rabbits, along with meat-based feed specifically tailored for them.

Cheetah cubs rely on their mother for nourishment at birth and for four weeks afterwards; blind from birth until then their eyes open fully. In their first three to six months they’ll consume only milk from mother until then starting solids are introduced into diet.

Cheetahs will only attack humans if they feel cornered and threatened. Although normally shy creatures, cheetahs will fight back if their cubs are injured or killed – in these instances they may scream loudly to alert people that their safety is threatened.

Cheetahs may reach speeds of 120 km/h when running, yet they aren’t as adept hunters as other big cats. Cheetahs tend to slip up more often than kill their prey and they spend much of their time crouched and scanning their surroundings in order to locate prey from far away and position themselves for killing it. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to diseases like rabies as well as injuries sustained if they fall or trip over objects; due to such risks it is wise to stay clear from wild cheetahs!

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