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Puma vs. Cheetah: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 21, 2023
A puma is a large, solitary cat native to the Americas, known for its strength and agility, while a cheetah is the fastest land animal, native to Africa and parts of Iran, distinguished by its speed and spotted coat.

Key Differences

A puma, also known as a cougar or mountain lion, is known for its large size and powerful build, adept at climbing and leaping. In contrast, a cheetah is recognized for its incredible speed, capable of reaching up to 60-70 mph in short bursts.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023
The puma's coat is usually a uniform tan or light brown color, helping it blend into a variety of landscapes. The cheetah, on the other hand, has a distinctive spotted coat, which aids in camouflage in grassy savannas.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023
Pumas are more adaptable in terms of habitat, found in mountains, forests, and deserts. Cheetahs are primarily found in open landscapes like savannas and grasslands, where they can utilize their speed.
Huma Saeed
Dec 21, 2023
In hunting, pumas rely on strength and stealth, often ambushing their prey. Cheetahs use their extraordinary speed to outrun prey over short distances.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023
Pumas have a broader range, spanning from North to South America, while cheetahs are mostly confined to sub-Saharan Africa, with a small population in Iran.
Harlon Moss
Dec 21, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Speed

Agile and strong, but not exceptionally fast
World's fastest land animal, up to 70 mph
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

Coat

Uniform tan or light brown
Distinctive black spots on golden coat
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

Habitat

Mountains, forests, deserts
Open landscapes like savannas, grasslands
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

Hunting Strategy

Ambush predator, relies on stealth and power
Uses high speed to chase down prey
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

Geographical Range

North to South America
Mainly sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Iran
Aimie Carlson
Dec 21, 2023
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Puma and Cheetah Definitions

Puma

A puma is known for its agility and strength.
The puma leaped effortlessly onto the tree branch.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023

Cheetah

A cheetah has non-retractable claws for better grip.
The cheetah's claws gripped the ground, aiding in its high-speed pursuit.
Huma Saeed
Dec 06, 2023

Puma

A puma is a solitary and adaptable predator.
The puma roamed the vast forest, searching for its next meal.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cheetah

A cheetah is known for its slender build and spotted coat.
The cheetah's spotted coat provided camouflage in the tall grass.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023

Puma

A puma is a large American wild cat.
The hiker spotted a puma in the distance, blending seamlessly with the rocky terrain.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Cheetah

A cheetah specializes in short, high-speed chases.
The cheetah used its burst of speed to outpace the antelope.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Puma

A puma is also called a cougar or mountain lion.
The cougar, another name for the puma, is a skilled hunter.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Cheetah

A cheetah is the fastest land animal.
The cheetah sprinted across the savanna, swiftly catching up to its prey.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Puma

A puma is a powerful cat with a broad range.
Pumas are found from the Canadian Rockies to the Andes in South America.
Harlon Moss
Dec 06, 2023

Cheetah

A cheetah is an African wild cat.
Cheetahs are a symbol of the wild beauty of the African plains.
Janet White
Dec 06, 2023

Puma

See cougar.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cheetah

A long-legged, swift-running wild cat (Acinonyx jubatus) of Africa and southwest Asia, having tawny, black-spotted fur and nonretractile claws. The cheetah, the fastest animal on land, can run for short distances at about 96 kilometers (60 miles) per hour.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Puma

A mountain lion or cougar (Puma concolor).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cheetah

A distinctive member (Acinonyx jubatus) of the cat family, slightly smaller than the leopard, but with proportionately longer limbs and a smaller head; native to Africa and southeast Asia (where it is nearly extinct) and also credited with being the fastest terrestrial animal.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Puma

(by extension) Any feline belonging to the genus Puma.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cheetah

A species of leopard (Cynælurus jubatus) tamed and used for hunting in India. The woolly cheetah of South Africa is Cynælurus laneus. It runs very fast in short spurts while hunting.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Puma

A large American carnivore (Felis concolor), found from Canada to Patagonia, especially among the mountains. Its color is tawny, or brownish yellow, without spots or stripes. Called also catamount, cougar, American lion, mountain lion, and panther or painter.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Cheetah

Long-legged spotted cat of Africa and southwestern Asia having nonretractile claws; the swiftest mammal; can be trained to run down game
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Puma

Large American feline resembling a lion
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

FAQs

Can pumas climb trees?

Yes, pumas are adept climbers.
Huma Saeed
Dec 21, 2023

Are pumas endangered?

Pumas are not currently endangered but face habitat threats.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

What is the scientific name of a puma?

The scientific name is Puma concolor.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

What is the average lifespan of a puma?

Pumas live approximately 8-13 years in the wild.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

What do cheetahs eat?

Cheetahs primarily eat small to medium-sized ungulates.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

Are cheetahs solitary animals?

Yes, except for mothers with cubs and some male coalitions.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

How large can pumas grow?

Adult pumas can weigh between 115-220 pounds.
Harlon Moss
Dec 21, 2023

What type of habitat do pumas prefer?

Pumas are adaptable to a variety of habitats.
Harlon Moss
Dec 21, 2023

How fast can a cheetah run?

A cheetah can reach speeds of 60-70 mph.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

What is the scientific name of a cheetah?

The scientific name is Acinonyx jubatus.
Janet White
Dec 21, 2023

How are cheetahs different from other big cats?

Cheetahs have a slender build and are specialized for speed.
Harlon Moss
Dec 21, 2023

Do pumas have any natural predators?

Adult pumas have few natural predators but face threats from humans.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 21, 2023

Do cheetahs climb trees?

Cheetahs are not typically tree climbers like some other cats.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

How do cheetahs raise their young?

Cheetah mothers raise cubs alone, teaching them to hunt and survive.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

How do pumas hunt?

Pumas use stealth and power to ambush prey.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

What is the cheetah's role in the ecosystem?

Cheetahs help control prey populations and maintain balance.
Janet White
Dec 21, 2023

Can pumas and cheetahs interbreed?

No, they are different species with different geographical ranges.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

How do pumas communicate?

Pumas communicate through vocalizations, scent marking, and body language.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

What challenges do cheetahs face in the wild?

Habitat loss, human conflict, and declining prey are major challenges.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 21, 2023

Are pumas part of any cultural legends or stories?

Yes, pumas feature in many Native American myths and folklore.
Harlon Moss
Dec 21, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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