Female cheetahs are usually solitary and have home ranges in which they roam. Males may form small groups and will stake out and defend a territory, usually one that overlaps several female home ranges. After mating, the female raises the cubs alone and teaches them how to hunt until they are about 15 to 17 months old.

Cheetahs are very vocal and use many sounds to communicate with one another, These different sounds include chirping, growling, churring, stuttering, hissing, yowling, and purring. When in groups, they will often groom or rub heads with each other.

Cheetahs’ claws are non-retractable, which may improve their grip when running. Their tails act as rudders when they reach high speeds, helping them to make sharp turns.


Acinonyx jubatus

Habitat: African savannas and grasslands

Diet in the wild: Gazelles, impalas, small to medium hoofed animals or the young of larger species, smaller mammals (e.g. hares)

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Ground meat, large bones

Size: Up to 160 lbs

Family: Cheetah brothers may remain together for life

Status: Vulnerable

Did you know? Cheetahs can reach speeds of 75 mph!

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