What Are Some Facts About Cheetahs?

cheetahs Credit: Dirk Freder/Vetta/Getty Images

Cheetahs are the fastest land animal in the world. They eat gazelles and other hooved animals, reproduce year round and are mostly found in Africa. Although cheetahs cannot roar, they can purr continuously.

Cheetahs can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in three seconds. Their spotted coats aid in camouflaging them in the tall grasses of their environment, while their extremely keen eyesight allows them to stalk their prey before pouncing. Cheetahs eat hooved animals such as antelope, wildebeest calves and impalas. They must eat quickly to avoid larger, more aggressive predators. To survive, cheetahs only need to drink water once every three or four days. Cheetahs are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day, and they hunt mostly in the mornings and afternoons.

Mating season for cheetahs runs year round. A litter produces between one and four cubs. The female cheetah is responsible for raising the cubs and teaching them to hunt. She stays with her cubs until they reach they age of 1 to 2 1/2. Male cheetahs live alone or in small groups. As of 2015, cheetahs are found mostly in eastern and southwestern Africa, however, there are small populations still found in Iran.