Fun Cheetah Facts for Kids

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  • Scientific name is Acinonyx Jubatus- name comes from the word chita meaning spotted one.
  • Cheetahs are mammals.
  • Cheetahs are in the cat family.
  • Cheetahs are sometimes mistaken for leopards but a cheetah’s spots are more round and they have long black lines that run from their eyes to their mouth called tears.
  • A cheetah has between 2,000-3,000 spots!
  • Cheetah’s weigh between 69-140 pounds and can be 4 feet long.
  • Male and female cheetahs are called cheetahs.
  • A baby cheetah is called a cub.
  • Cheetah’s are the fastest land mammal in the world!
  • Cheetah’s can run up to 60 miles per hours in 3 seconds but can go even faster.
  • They can run at speeds up to 75 miles per hour!
  • Most cheetahs live in eastern and southwestern Africa.  Very few are left living in Iran.
  • Cheetah’s are considered a threatened species.It is believed that only  7,000-12,500 are left in the wild.
  • Cheetah’s have become threatened due to loss of habitat and decreasing food source.
  • Cheetah’s do not roar like lions or tigers. They let out a chirping noise when they feel threatened and they purr if they feel happy.
  • Cheetahs are carnivores meaning they eat meat.
  • Cheetahs have excellent eyesight.  They can see up to 3 miles away!
  • Cheetahs hunt in the day time.
  • They use their excellent eyesight to look for prey than sprint to pounce on them.
  • They eat wildebeest, warthogs, birds, zebras, gazelles, deer, antelopes and impalas.
  • After cheetahs catch their prey (food) they will bring it to a shady hiding place so other animals don’t see it.
  • Cheetahs do not like to fight.  They will give up their prey (food) if a larger more aggressive animal approaches them to avoid a fight.
  • Female cheetah’s will live alone unless she is caring for her cubs.
  • A mother cheetah usually has 3-5 cubs but up to 9 cubs can be born.
  • A mother will stay with her cubs for 18 months then she will leave them. The cubs will stay together for another 6 months.  After 6 months the females will go off on their own and the males will stay together for live.
  • Cheetahs usually live 7-10 years in the wild and 16 in captivity.
  • Predators to cheetahs are lions and hyena.
  • Most cheetah cubs are killed by lions.
  • Cheetahs were kept as pets and trained to help people hunt in Ancient Egypt.