Difference between Tiger, Panther and Leopard

Key Difference: The basic difference between the Tiger, Panther and Leopard is that they all are different in their appearance, sizes, habits, etc. The tiger belongs to Panthera, and has black stripes all over the body. Panther belongs to Panthera, and has spots that are simply hard to see because their fur is so dark. Leopard belongs to Panthera pardus, and the color and length of a leopard's fur can vary depending on where it lives.

The Tiger is one of the most beautiful creature and is largest of all the big cats. Tigers are found in a variety of habitats in South and East Asia. They are solitary animals and mark their territories with urine, secretions from their anal glands, faeces and scratch marks. 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 sized 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. Tigers have no natural predators, only humans prey upon them.

The Panther is possibly one of the most aggressive and most feared animals in the world. The Panther is also known as the Black Panther. Panthera is a genus in the Felidae family that consists of the tiger, the lion, the jaguar, and the leopard as species. Only four of the Panthera cat species have the ability to roar. Black panthers are most commonly melanistic variations of jaguars, leopards, and very rare black tigers. Black panthers are most commonly found in southwestern China, Myanmar, Assam and Nepal, Travancore and other parts of southern India. In Jaguars, the melanism gene is dominant and black jaguars may produce either black or spotted cubs.

The Leopard is the smallest of the big cats. They are often confused with two other spotted cats, cheetahs and jaguars, but the fact is that the patterns of spots in each species are different. Leopards can run up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour, but will not chase prey for long distances. Leopards are physically powerful swimmers and very much at home in the water, where they sometimes eat fish or crabs. Leopards are mainly found in Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, and Malaysia. They are experts at climbing up and down trees, often descending headfirst. Leopards are famous for their ability to go undetected because of their spotted coloration.

Comparison between Tiger, Panther and Leopard:









Latin name / Scientific name

Panthera tigris

Puma concolor

Panthera Pardus





















Protection status



Near Threatened


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.

Latin America, Asia and Africa

Africa and tropical Asia, from Siberia, South and West Asia to across most of sub-Saharan Africa.


Tiger is the largest of all the big cats.

Panther refer to the four big cats, and is one of the most aggressive animals.

Leopard is the smallest one of all the big cats.


Weight up to 306 kg

Weight is up to 30 to 72 kg.

30 to 80 kg; can go up to 100kg.


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

They will also either crush or suffocate the victim or bite straight through his skull.

They kill their prey by a suffocating bite. They too would rather stalk than chase their prey.

Food / Prey

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

They are herbivores. Animals including Deer, Warthogs, Wild Boar, Tapir and Antelope are all hunted by Panthers, along with smaller species like Birds and Rabbits when larger prey is scarce.

Leopards will often drag their meal up a tree to eat in seclusion. They will eat anything from beetles to antelope, depending on their habitat.


They are strong swimmers and enjoy spending time in the water.

Panther can swim. However, they love dry ground.

Leopards are awesome swimmers.

Image Courtesy: pxwallpaper.com, twistedsifter.com, gamelodgeindex.blogspot.com

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