What Do Cheetahs Eat – Cheetah Diet

Cheetahs are well known for being the fastest animal on earth. They have a special body structure which helps them in attaining a speed upto 120 km/h. Like all other cats they are carnivores i.e. eat meat but there are some specific animals which form part of their usual diet. We have done complete research on “What Do Cheetahs Eat” that will help you learn about all the animals that are part of Cheetah Diet. Furthermore, this research will answer all your questions that you might have in your mind about their food and the animals they hunt.

What Do Cheetahs Eat

1. What Kind of Food do Cheetahs Eat

  • A simple answer to the question what kind of food do cheetahs eat is “Meat”.
  • Cheetah belongs to the cat family and like all other cats is a carnivore which means that they eat meat and to get meat they hunt other animals.

2. What do Cheetahs Eat in the Wild

  • In the wild Cheetah hunt medium size wild animals that live in its habitat..
  • As Cheetahs are medium-sized cats with extraordinary speed so in the wild they mainly go for that prey which can be taken down by speed.
  • About 50% of the Cheetah’s prey consists of younger animals. They avoid hunting adult animals due to their size and strength.
  • When hunting in groups cheetahs mostly go after large animals.
  • The list of wild animals that cheetah eat is given below.

what do cheetahs eat

3. What Animals do Cheetahs Eat

  • Cheetahs hunt a limited range of animals for food.
  • Among all the big cats, cheetahs have the narrowest range of animals to hunt.
  • Cheetahs are much smaller in size than tigers and lions due to which they are also not as strong as them. It is for this reason they are only able to hunt medium sized animals.
  • They usually prefer to go after young animals that weigh no more than 56 kg i.e. 123 lb.
  • The most common animals that form part of the usual Cheetahs Diet includes:
    • Thomson’s Gazelle
    • Grant’s Gazelle
    • Sable Antelope
    • Roan Antelope
    • Kirk’s Dik Dik
    • Steenbok
    • Springbok
    • Gemsbok
    • Reedbuck
    • Waterbuck
    • Bushbuck
    • Duiker
    • Oribi
    • Kudu
    • Impalas
  • Hartebeest
  • Wildebeest Calves
  • Nyala
  • African buffalo
  • Rabbits & Hares
  • Birds
    • Ostrich
    • Guinea Fowls
  • Warthogs
  • Caracals
  • Bat-eared fox
  • Cape foxes
  • Baboons
  • Jackals
  • Cane rats
  • Mole rats
  • Young Zebra
  • Other smaller hoofed animals that live in their habitat

3. What do Cheetahs Drink

  • Cheetah’s drink water.
  • Water is very scarce in its habitat (Africa) so it drinks only once in three or four days.
  • They can survive for days without drinking water.
  • They drink water from rivers and water holes.

4. What do Cheetahs Eat in Africa

  • Cheetahs prefer habitats where antelopes such as gazelles are found in a 20 to 30 km radius.
  • In Kalahari, South Africa, Cheetahs mostly hunt Springbok. They also hunt impala,  steenbok, red hartebeest, oribi, warthog, puku, cape hare and gemsbok.
  • In Northwest Africa, Cheetahs hunt addax, dama gazelle and rhim gazelle.
  • In Kruger National Park, South Africa, Cheetahs hunt the Impalas and Reedbuck.
  • In Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 90% of the Cheetahs’ hunt consists of Thomson’s Gazelle. They also hunt impala, hares, waterbuck, gerenuk,Grant’s gazelle, hares, wildebeest and guinea fowl.
  • In Nairobi, the Cheetahs mostly hunt the Grant’s Gazelle.

What do Cheetahs Eat - Cheetah Diet

5. What do Cheetahs Eat in Asia – Asiatic Cheetah Diet

  • Cheetahs found in Asia like to eat:
    • Goitered Gazelle
    • Chinkara
    • Ibex
    • Desert Hare
    • Wild Sheep

6. What do Cheetahs Eat in Zoos

In zoos cheetahs eat:

  • Horse meat
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Rabbit
  • Meat-based feed made specifically for cheetahs
  • and cow milk for cubs

7. What do Cheetahs Like to Eat

  • Cheetahs mostly hunt four species of Antelopes:
    • Gazelles
    • Impala
    • Reedbuck
    • Nyala
  • Among these Antelopes, the success rate of hunting Thomson’s gazelle is the highest i.e. 80% to 100%. This suggests that the Thomson’s gazelle is the most favorite food of Cheetahs.

8. How Much Does a Cheetah Eat

  • A Cheetah can eat about 10 kg of meat per day.
  • It has been observed that they can eat 10 kg of meat in a single sitting.
  • An adult cheetah eats 2.8 kg (6.2 lbs) of meat per day on average.

9. How Often Do Cheetahs Eat

  • Lone adult cheetahs hunt once in every 2 to 5 days.
  • A female Cheetah with cubs hunts daily to provide food not only for itself but for its cubs also.

10. What Do Baby Cheetahs Eat

  • At the time of birth, the Cheetah cubs are blind and fully dependent on their mother.
  • The cubs feed on mother’s milk till the age 3 to 6 months.
  • They start to wean (eating food other than mother’s milk) when they reach the age of 3 months.
  • The cubs are 100% dependent on their mother for food till the age of 6 months.
  • The cubs start learning hunting from their mother after 1.5 months of their birth. At the age of 6 months the cubs attempt to hunt young gazelles, deer fawn and hares.
  • It is at the age of 15 months when the cubs become successful hunters.

11. Do Cheetahs Eat Giraffes

  • Cheetahs usually do not attempt to hunt Giraffe due to their large size.
  • A giraffe kick can kill or injure the cheetah.
  • Cheetahs are intelligent cats and are aware about their limitations. They use their energy only in hunting those animals which they are able to take down.
  • Cheetah will eat Giraffe only if it has the opportunity to kill it without getting harmed. It is only possible if the giraffe is young and its mother is not around.

12. Do Cheetahs Eat Elephants

  • Elephants are huge in size and it is impossible for the Cheetahs to hunt them down. Even lions rarely attempt to go for elephants thought they hunt in packs.
  • Cheetahs will eat elephant only in case if it is dead and there are no animals to hunt.

13. Do Cheetahs Eat Hyenas

  • No Cheetahs do not eat Hyenas.
  • Hyenas weigh almost the same as a cheetah. They are strong, muscular with powerful jaws and persistence for what they want.
  • A conflict of Cheetah and a Hyena will result in injuries for Cheetah most probably on its legs. Cheetahs with injured legs are unable to hunt and possibly may die of hunger.
  • It is due to the above reasons Cheetahs avoid conflict with Hyenas.

14. Do Cheetahs Eat Lions

  • No Cheetahs do not eat Lions.
  • Cheetahs are smaller in size and much weaker than lions.
  • In a fight between Cheetah and Lion, the Lion will win so Cheetah being the fastest land animal will probably run for its life when approached by a lion.

15. Do Cheetahs Eat Zebras

  • Zebras are large in size and difficult to hunt for cheetahs.
  • Zebras have strong legs and kick from them can be lethal for cheetahs.
  • In Tanzania, Cheetahs do hunt Zebras. They usually go for the young ones.

16. Do Cheetahs Eat Snakes

  • No Cheetah do not eat snakes as they are hard to find.
  • Cheetahs are smart animals and they avoid confrontation with any animal that can cause harm to them.

17. Do Cheetahs Eat Humans

  • No Cheetahs do not eat humans. Unlike lions and tigers Cheetahs are not man eaters.
  • They might attack humans only for self defence if they feel threatened.

18. Do Cheetahs Eat Birds

  • Cheetah do eat birds.
  • They eat chicken in captivity.
  • In the wild they hunt Guinea Fowls and ostriches.

19. Do Cheetahs Eat Monkeys

  • Yes Cheetahs eat monkeys.
  • The monkey specie available in the Cheetah’s’ habitat is baboon.

20. Do Cheetahs Eat Plants

  • No Cheetahs do not eat plants as they are carnivores.
  • Like other cats they may chew grass in case they have any digestion problem.

Learn more about Cheetah

What do Cheetahs Eat – Cheetah Diet Video

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