15 Differences Between Male And Female Cheetahs


Cheetahs, the fastest land animals on Earth, exhibit fascinating differences between males and females that go beyond their speed and agility. Physical characteristics, social behaviors, and more—these big cats demonstrate a range of distinctions based on their gender. In these slides, we will discuss 15 differences between male and female cheetahs.

Physical Size

Mateo Juric/Getty

Male cheetahs normally exhibit a larger and heavier build compared to females. The adult weight is typically between 70 and 140 pounds; males claim higher weights (average of 120 lbs) than females (average of 90 lbs).


Thorsten Spoerlein/Getty

One difference between male and female cheetahs is the presence of a “mane” around the neck and shoulders. This ruff, usually dark brown or black, is more prominent in males than females.

Reproductive Anatomy


Female cheetahs have reproductive systems adapted for carrying and delivering offspring. In contrast, male cheetahs possess reproductive organs primarily designed for producing and providing sperm.

Social Behavior

Tim Moehring/Getty

Male cheetahs exhibit more social behavior, often preferring to live in collations. On the other hand, females are more solitary and will bond with a male long enough to breed.



Female cheetahs typically have larger territories that could overlap with those of several males. The females typically roam far, looking for prey, while the males occupy smaller spaces, large enough for them to interact with women and hunt.

Hunting Roles


In cheetah society, females tend to hunt more. Usually, male and female cheetahs hunt once every two to three days, but when a female cheetah actively feeds her young, she hunts more frequently.

Hunting Strategies


Both males and females are skilled hunters but may employ slightly different strategies. Due to their bigger size, males may be more successful at taking down larger prey. Conversely, females may be more selective in their prey choices because of their sizes.

Life Expectancy


Female cheetahs generally live longer than males, with females reaching 10 to 12 years in the wild, compared to 8 to 10 years for males. This difference in life expectancy may be attributed to various factors, including competition and conflicts.

Mating Behavior


Male cheetahs show more territorial behavior when it comes to mating and may engage in aggressive encounters with other male groups to secure access to females but not within themselves. In contrast, females are more receptive to mating, with estrus periods lasting up to two weeks.

Behavioral Traits


Male cheetahs are often more aggressive and assertive, traits that are beneficial for competing and scaring threats. Females may also be aggressive, defending their young from threats and ensuring survival in a challenging environment.


Marcel Forrer/Getty

Both male and female cheetahs can vocalize, but their calls may differ slightly in pitch and intensity.

Cub Rearing


Female cheetahs are primarily responsible for raising their cubs, teaching them essential skills such as hunting and survival. In contrast, male cheetahs play a minimal role in cub rearing, with their involvement limited to mating and defending their territory.

Sexual Maturity


Females get sexually mature at around two years old, while males may mature sexually one year earlier.

Head Shape

Blair Costelloe/Getty

Males also tend to have broader heads than females. This is considered an adaptation for fighting with other males over territory and mates.

Leaving Home


It’s more likely that a male cheetah will leave home earlier than a female. Males like to move far and join forces with other males to claim new territory.


Leave a Reply