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Jaguar vs Leopard: 8 key Differences Between These Big Cats



If you have ever thought that a jaguar and a leopard are the same types of animal then you are totally wrong.

If you are also finding it hard to differentiate between these two wild cats then you are reading the right article because this article is targeted at explaining to you the differences between these two wild cats.

In terms of their size, habitat, tactics in hunting for their food, and more.

Yes! They both look quite similar but there are lots of differences to spot in both animals. Firstly they are from the same Genus called Panthera.

From their physical appearance, they are both strong and fast when it comes to chasing their prey.

In terms of their hunting behavior, these two cats differ. Leopards use their speed to hunt for antelopes, and when they get their prey they press their teeth to the throat of their prey causing them to be unable to breathe.

After which they dragged their meal to hidings so as far to avoid their superior predators from trying to steal their hard work. Jaguar vs Leopard

Whereas the jaguars, on the other hand, target and crush the skull of their prey causing them to die on the spot.

Jaguars are often referred to as Aquaman because of their ability to stay and hunt for wet habitats like reptiles. Now we would talk about these two wild cats differently; firstly we would be talking about the.

Jaguar vs Other Big Cats – Reasons why Jaguars are so Different


Jaguar vs Leopard : 8 key Difference Between These Big Cats

Jaguars are the third largest in the cat family, they mostly enjoy the company of themselves, so they like living in solitude.

The males are totally in control of their homes and they do everything to protect their homes from predators. Jaguars can run at a speed of 80km per hour.

Jaguars weigh between 56-100kg with a head and a body length of 5ft 6 and 6 inches. Their preferred habitat is tropical forests and swamps.

They usually enjoy swimming and their mode of getting their prey is through the stalk and ambush method.

Jaguars have a compact body, powerful jaw, and wide forehead. Its colors range from black to reddish brown.

Jaguars can be found mostly in Southern and Central America. The life span of jaguars ranges from 12-15years.

Amazing Facts about Jaguars

  1. Jaguars are amazing swimmers. They like swampy areas, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. They are not afraid of water and they are great swimmers.
  2. Both the male and female species of this cat roar. This enables them to come together when they want to mate.
  1. Jaguars can feed on anything ranging from tortoise, anacondas, fish, and deer.
  2. Jaguars kill their prey with a powerful bite this makes them stand out from all other cats because they bite directly to the skulls of their prey and their teeth are very strong which enables them to bite through the thick hides of crocodiles and the shells of turtles.
  3. Their cubs grow quickly. They mate up to 100 times in a day and the
    females can carry their pregnancies for up to 14 weeks.
  4. Jaguars are the third biggest cats in the world after the tiger and the lion.
    They grow 170cm long. Males can weigh up to 120kg.


India's leopard population declined by 75% over two centuries, suggests  study

Leopards are the fifth largest in the cat family following the cougar. Compared to other cats, leopards have short legs and a long body with a large skull.

Leopards have the ability to adapt to any habitat. Ranging from rainforests to steppe, including arid and montane areas.

Leopards run at a speed of up to 58km per hour the females weigh from 21 to 60kg while the males usually weigh around 36 to 75kg.

Leopards are astoundingly strong and they are by far the strongest of all cats. They have a life span ranging from 12-17 years.

Amazing Facts about Leopards

  1. Leopards have the ability to climb on trees even when carrying heavy prey and they also chose to rest on branches during the day.
  2. They are nocturnal, they mostly hunt their prey at night.
  3. Leopards are powerful, they can kill their prey by biting through their neck and their throat to make them suffocate before taking their meal to hidings away from other predators.
  4. Their cubs stay with their mothers for two years before finally moving to be on their own learning how to hunt for their prey from their mothers.
  5. Their cubs are born blind and so they completely depend on their mothers. It takes up to ten or more days before their eyes become open.


  1. Both are members of the panther genus.
  2. Leopards can swim when they need to whereas the jaguars are great swimmers. They are most fond of the riverine areas.
  1. Leopards are native to Africa, and Asia, whereas Jaguars live only in South and Central America.
  2. Both cats have the ability to survive in many different habitats each of them has its favorite habitat to live in. with the leopards enjoying living in plains and sleeks habitat, the jaguar spends most of its time in wet habitats.
  3. They both have similar heights.
  4. Leopards have smaller heads with sharp cheekbones and clearly defined
    lines whereas jaguars have larger heads and rounder faces with small ears.
  5. Their mode of killing differs, jaguars have tougher teeth that can pierce through the shell of a tortoise or a crocodile. It kills its prey by biting through its skull whereas the leopard bites through the neck of its prey suffocating it before finally dragging it to hiding.
  6. Jaguars are stocky animals having broad shoulder muscles and short
    compact bodies whereas the leopards have long slender bodies.


If you look at their physical appearance, the jaguar is bigger, heavier, and stronger.

From this article, you will find out that the bite force of the jaguar is more powerful and deadly because it pierces through hard surfaces.

However, leopards are more smart and intelligent than jaguars.

Though the leopards climb and relax on tree branches, jaguars also have the ability to climb trees.

Studies have revealed that these two cats are the best pound-to-pound fighters of all cats.

The majority of experts would vote for the jaguar to be the winner of the fight.

Personally from my findings, I believe the jaguar would do better than the leopards because leopards are mostly non-aggressive and sometimes they lose their meals to other predators like lions, hyenas, and others.

So I think the jaguars would win the fight.

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