Difference Between Jaguar and Leopard


Main Difference

The main difference between Jaguar and Leopard is that Jaguar is a stocky animal with broad shoulder muscles and a short body, whereas the Leopard is longer than the Jaguar and has a slender body.

Jaguar vs. Leopard

A jaguar is a small and compact body containing animals, whereas a leopard is a long and slender body containing the animal. A jaguar weighs more and has robust, broad muscles and build. On the other hand, a leopard weighs less and has a long and slim body as compared to a jaguar.

A jaguar has a short tail to match its short, stocky body, whereas a leopard has a long slinky tail to match its longer and slimmer body. A jaguar has a fat round face with a much larger head, while a leopard has a good looking face with sharp cheekbones, well-defined lines, and small angular heads.


A jaguar has ears that are not much prominent, whereas the ears of a leopard are much more prominent as compared to a jaguar. Jaguars live in rainforests, whereas leopards live in trees. Jaguars used to dwell California, the Grand Canyon, and Texas. On the flip side, a leopard used to inhabit Hong Kong and Japan.

Jaguars are slower, and leopards are faster when it comes to speed. A jaguar can comfortably reach 50 km/h, whereas a leopard can reach a top speed of 50-60 km/h. A jaguar is more strong, and a leopard is less strong when it comes to strength.

Jaguars are considered to be excellent swimmers, which go on diving for capturing food like caimans and fishes. On the flip side, leopards can swim when they need to swim, i.e., to reach an island or to cross a river.


Comparison Chart

Jaguar is a stocky animal with a more muscular, short, and compact body.Leopard has a long and slender body with less muscular shoulders.
Native Of
South and Central America, AmazonEast and Southern Africa, Middle East, Asia
Spots Nature
Contain central black spotTightly packed
Larger ranging from 60-100 kg or 132-220 lb40-90 kg or 88-198 lb
Body Shape
Short and compact bodyLong and slender body
Broad muscles and robust buildLess wide muscles
Short tailLong-tail
Head Shape
Larger headSmall angular head
Face Shape
Fat round faceGood looking with sharp cheekbones and defined lines
Not prominentprominent
Natural Habitat
California, the Grand Canyon, TexasHong Kong and Japan
Less fastFaster
More strongStronger
50 Km/h50-60 km/h

What is Jaguar?

A jaguar weighs about 50-60 kg. It has a body and a head length of about 5-6 inches. Jaguar is considered to be the third-largest cat after the tiger and lion. A jaguar has a substantial and powerful bite than any other cat in the world. The bite of a jaguar is potent enough to fissure or blow the shells of colossal sea turtles.

Jaguars reside only in Southern and Central America currently. Jaguars used to roam in Texas and Grand Canyon, but they are now extinct in North America. They are now found in deeper rainforests after losing their habitat elsewhere.

Jaguar is famous as a stocky animal having a compact and more muscular body as compared to a leopard. A jaguar has a broader head and strong piercing jaws. The tail of the jaguar is usually shorter as compared to the tail of a leopard. `

A jaguar has a fur having rosette patterns containing spots inside them. It has a golden-colored fur, which may appear black due to rosette pattern in it. Jaguars are well-thought-out to be the best swimmers. They are brave enough to face other species that are bigger than him.

Jaguars obtain their energy by hunting animals like deer, ungulates, anacondas, capybaras, and caiman, etc. Jaguars are strong animals, which can fight and beat any kind of animal of the same size and weight. They are the topmost combatants for the pound class.

What is Leopard?

Leopards are the smallest cats among the four big cats, including lion, tiger, and jaguar. There are just about nine acknowledged subspecies of the leopard. All of these subspecies can be observed in Asia, South Asia, and India, etc. Only African leopards are not found in these continents.

A leopard is a speedy predator, which preys in the jungle. Leopards are durable contenders in the African and Asian wilds. African and Asian leopards have different prey depending upon their natural habitat. African leopards live on desolate pigs, chimpanzees, antelopes, African rock python, and porcupine, etc. On the other hand, Asian leopards live on barking deer, cheetah, wild goat, and Capra, etc.

African leopards can face the challenge of being preyed by a lion, hyena, bear, wild dogs, and cheetah, etc. Leopards can climb the tree straight in a vertical manner carrying the animal body of heavyweight. Leopards protect their prey from scavengers and predators by carrying them to the branches of a tree.

Leopards are solitary animals, which prefer to live alone. They are more active in the night and rest during the day in thick brushes. Leopards are faster a bit as compared to a jaguar. A maximum speed of a leopard can range from 50-60 km/h. They are very agile and can leap more than 20 feet up in the air.

Leopards can swim when it is vital for their survival. African leopards are mostly present in savannah, which are the mixtures of grasslands and trees.

Key Differences

  1. A jaguar belongs to the specie Panthera onca, whereas a leopard belongs to the specie Panthera pardus.
  2. Jaguars have a longer body and head length that is 5 feet 6 inches. On the other hand, a leopard has the body and a head length of 5 feet 1 inch.
  3. A jaguar’s tail is short, which is 2 feet 5 inches. On the flip side, a leopard’s tail is long, which is 3 feet 1 inch.
  4. A jaguar’s average weight is 100 kg, whereas a leopard weighs typically 70 kg.
  5. Jaguars are more substantial and more robust. In contrast, leopards are faster and slimmer.
  6. A jaguar has rosette patterns that are large and central black spot containing. On the contrary, a leopard has small and tightly packed rosettes.
  7. Jaguars are stocky animals, whereas leopards are agile animals.
  8. Jaguars have a short torso and compact bodies. In contrast, leopards have long and slender bodies.
  9. Jaguars have fat round faces. On the flip side, leopards have sharp cheekbones and clearly defined lines.
  10. Jaguars have larger heads, whereas leopards have small angular heads.
  11. The ears of a jaguar are not much prominent. On the other hand, the ears of a leopard are prominent.
  12. Jaguars used to inhabit California and Texas. Conversely, leopards used to live in Hong Kong and Japan.
  13. Jaguars are found in deeper rainforests, whereas leopards are abundant in savannah that is a combination of grasslands and trees.
  14. The average life span of a jaguar is 13 years, but the average life span of a leopard is 14 years.


Jaguars are stronger animals, whereas leopards are faster animals. Jaguars are the best competitors for wild animals, while leopards are cleverer than jaguars.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson