Difference between Cheetah and Tiger

Key Difference: The primary difference between both the wild cats is that they belong to difference Genus. Cheetah belongs to Acinonyx, whereas Tiger belongs to Panthera. Cheetah is tan with round black spots. They are single large spots resembling thumb prints. Tiger has black stripes all over the body.

Cheetahs are the only big cat that cannot roar, and are the fastest animal in the world, whereas, the Tiger is the largest wild cat animal in the world. Cheetahs are tan in color with black spots all over their bodies. They can also be distinguished from other big cats by their smaller size, spotted coats, small heads, ears and distinctive "tear stripes" that stretch from the corner of the eye to the side of the nose. Tigers, on the other hand, are the most distinctive big cat with dark black stripes on the body. Tigers have a large muscular body with powerful forelimbs, which are used for hunting and climbing.

Cheetahs cannot climb trees and have poor night vision. The amazing fact is that they only need to drink once every three to four days. They have a very flexible build, with long legs, body, and tail. They are more nervous, cautious, and always on the look out. Cheetah's, like most animals in a competitive surroundings, have other adaptations developed eventually to make their niche and ensure their survival.

Tigers have long whiskers and circular pupils with yellow irises. Tigers are very territorial and may mark their territories through urinating on nearby plants and trees, spraying anal gland secretions or marking trails with scat. Tigers are strong swimmers, and often soak in steams and pools of water to cool off. The whole species is endangered throughout its range. A tiger’s diet consists of large to medium size animals such as Sambar, chital, barasingha, wild boar, gaur, nilgai and both water buffalo and domestic buffalo, deer, moose, sloth bears, crocodiles, etc. Tigers prefer to hunt at night and the stripes work as camouflages.

Comparison between Cheetah and Tiger:







Scientific Name

Acinonyx jubatus

Panthera tigris
















Protection status




Weight up to 35 to 65 kg

Weight up to 306 kg


Africa and parts of Middle East

Bengal (Indian) tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Sumatran tiger, the South China tiger, the Malayan tiger and Siberian (Amur) tiger. Tigers live in the wild in many regions throughout the globe, however, most can be found in Nepal, Tibet, India, South China, Sumatra, and Asia. Mostly, all of the present-day tigers descended from the tigers that were originally in South Central China.


They hunt at anytime – Either on daytime or at night.

Tigers are solitary hunters – they hunt at night; they can see well in the dark.


The short fur of the cheetah is tan with round black spots. They are single large spots resembling thumb prints.

Tigers have black stripes all over the body.


They are very fast and furious to catch their prey. They eat immediately after they kill any sized prey. Small antelope, young of large antelope, warthog, springhare, and game birds.

They only hunt large animals such as seer, buffalo, wild pigs, etc.

Primary differences

Its coat is tan with small, round, black spots, and the fur is coarse and short

They are easily recognized by its coats of reddish-orange with dark stripes.

Image Courtesy: backyardchickens.com, onlinewallpapersstore.blogspot.com

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