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I love cheetahs and coffee and opening boxes.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Cheetahs, but Were Too Afraid to Ask

I'm not sure if you noticed, but I love cheetahs.  They are a beautiful, majestic creature more spectacular than any fictional unicorn could ever be.

Yes.  I just admitted that unicorns don't exist.  That is how much I love cheetahs.

They are the fastest land mammal and have incredible movements, but there is even more to this creature that might be overlooked if you do not spend all of your free time researching cheetahs.

I'm assuming you spend your free time occupied in other ways.

But I'm here to fill in the blanks!

Let's take a look at how they're built!

Most of these attributes endow the cheetah with its famous speed.  However, the cheetah can only run roughly 500 feet at its popularized rate of 70 mph.  What is impressive about this speed is that it takes mere seconds for the cheetah to reach its full capacity.  It is because the cheetah exhausts so quickly after it reaches 70 mph that it loses most of its prey to its own fatigue. 

Right now the fastest cheetah in the world is Sarah, a member of the Cincinnati Zoo Community.  In September 2009 she broke this world record twice in one day by running 100 meters in 6.16 and 6.13 seconds respectively. 

But keep in mind Sarah is a captive cheetah and there are those in the wild whose survival depends on their high acceleration.  Sarah might be the best on record, but there might be cheetahs faster than her!

Now, let's talk about everyone's favorite type of animal: the babies!  Cheetah cubs are completely blind at birth, but within roughly 4-10 days their eyes open.  Baby cheetahs have cute, big tufts of fur on their necks and down their backs to make them look like honey badgers to any animals that might otherwise view them as prey. 

As for hunting, cheetahs prefer the daylight.  While we think of most cats as nocturnal, cheetahs are diurnal.  They usually hunt in the early mornings or in the late afternoon when the sun is out and the temperatures are cool.  That's why if they chose to hunt at night, they would need some infrared goggles.

Throughout history, cheetahs have been a symbol of wealth and royalty.  Because of the cheetah's docile nature, they were easy to tame and a prized possession of many ancient cultures.  Egyptian Pharaohs often kept cheetahs as pets, and a cheetah wearing a leash and a hood is on the royal Sumerian seal.

The Indian Mogul, Akbar the Great, owned over 9,000 cheetahs in his lifetime!  Akbar loved his cheetahs and kept detailed records of them.  He referred to them as Imperial Cheetahs.

Unfortunately, cheetahs do not breed well in captivity and it was here that the decline of cheetahs began.  For the past ten thousand years cheetahs have become progressively inbred.  The other challenges facing cheetahs are high infant mortality rate and poaching. 

Between 1900 and now the population has shrunk by roughly 86,000 and they have essentially disappeared from 44 countries, including Israel and India.  Today, the cheetah's largest habitat is Namibia, Africa.

To learn more about cheetahs and see adorable, real pictures of them, or to make a donation and further the efforts of those dedicating their lives to saving them, visit http://www.cheetah.org.  The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) works on reintroducing cheetahs into the wild, housing cheetahs in captivity, educating Namibian farmers, and using the Guarding Dog program to protect livestock from predators which minimizes the conflict between farmers and predators.  It was founded in 1990 by Laurie Marker who has worked with cheetahs since 1974, making them her number one priority.  

Other great programs include Big Cat Rescue and the Cincinnati Zoo.  They each have WONDERFUL youtube channels and are making great strides to ensure these animals live in luxury. 


  1. Cheetah multiplying machine, problem fixed.

  2. Hey Serena, this blog is great! Can I put the link on mine? It's really well done and creative....!

  3. Hello Serena ...Great posting about Cheetah...yes indeed it is also my favourite of the big Cats...although somewhat hindered by Nature, (this by having no retracting claws), they are therefore compensated by this high powerful speed...Times are getting very difficult for them,lack of space to hunt and lack of pray....the daylight hunting is also a negative aspect of this beautiful cat for more often then not its pray will be stolen by other large predators...i.e. Hyenas,Lions....Also I would like to premit that The Name Cheetah, derives from a Sanskrit word as " CITRAKAYAH " which means (Variegated Body) then via Hindi to "CITA'" hence to Cheetah...I'm a cat Lovers have six of my own....look like miniature cheetah a couple of them.....Heheheheh Best Regards Orpayian

  4. Hi Serena!
    That is an AWESOME job you've done on your posting and information! However, it makess me cry as I've always thought the Cheetah to be the most exclusive and beautiful cat in the "big" cat family, and I've watched nearly ever video possible about them since I was young, long ago lol now I'm 47. I've donated in small amounts since that's my only way of assisting beyond posts on my facebook profile, where I found yours! YEAH :) The only other thing I always wished is that the population continued to grow and once in my life actually see a cheetah up close and pet them <3 Not so possible since I'm in Wisconsin. However anything else I can do please let me know? My email is claudiaharroll@yahoo.com, and obviously you know already how to reach me on facebook! Thank you for the information and the great artwork, which by the way will me my new icon! After the cheetah is the lion for me, unfortunately one of my loves helps in the lesser population of the cheetah, wish it weren't so! Have a wonderful day! Cheetah lover always, Claudia

  5. Betty, your post was GREAT and your LINK! I hope nobody minds I share all this on facebook :) <3 Claudia

  6. Fabulous blog Serena! Keep up the great work for our spotted friends!

  7. I am so grateful for your comments! Glad to see there are so many fellow cheetah lovers out there! Also, so wonderful to see us all united by the CCF.

    Dan- I wish it was that simple. You work on that! =P

    Betty- You and everyone else are all absolutely welcome to share this with whomever you want, and if you have anything to share with me go right ahead! I love the cheetah update blog!!

    Claudia- if I ever hear of new ways to help the cheetahs I will share it! Right now, it's time to get the message out and help out the programs that make a difference.

    Orpayian- I would love to see a picture of your cheetah-lookalike cats! I have 3 cats and none of them look like cheetahs, but they are adorable nonetheless!

    Thank you guys, again, for the wonderful input and compliments! You're great =D


  8. How wonderful!

    I love love love your illustrations and the info you give is spot-on... pun intended.

    I linked to your site from my facebook page:
    and have a documentary in the works too:
    as well as a youtube channel:

    Great work!

  9. Good job Serena! I agree with you that cheetahs are amazing cats and that the CCF is doing a great job- they are really a great group and really cool people. I don't know where you live, but if you are in the San Francisco area they come every year to the Wildlife Conservation Network Expo, along with the Cheetah Conservation Botswana folks; this year they are coming the beginning of October: http://wildlifeconservationnetwork.org/events/expo2011.html