How Fast Can a Jaguar Run?

fast-can-jaguar-run Credit: Fuse/Getty Images

The top speed a jaguar may reach is 50 miles per hour. However, jaguar habitat is typically dense jungle unsuited for open running. Sometimes the big cats engage in ambush hunting by dropping down from trees, but they are fully capable of running down prey if they need to. The jaguar is the largest cat in South and Central America and may weigh up to 350 pounds.

Jaguars are solitary animals that reside in floodplains, swamps and rain forests. They are carnivorous, and their primary prey consists of deer, capybara and tapir. There are approximately 15,000 jaguars on the planet, and they are in danger of extinction.

According to Big Cat Rescue, one of the favorite animals for jaguars to hunt is the peccary, a type of wild pig that lives throughout the Americas and is particularly noted for its speed, agility and fighting ability. The jaguar must sprint at high speeds to catch such swift and agile prey.

Typically, jaguars avoid running at top speed unless they're hunting. Because running at such high speeds uses an enormous amount of energy, they will only run as fast as they can for a very brief amount of time.

The average lifespan of a jaguar is 12 to 15 years. They reach sexual maturity in three to four years, and their average litter consists of three cubs. The average gestation period lasts 90 to 105 days.

Jaguars are huge cats that can grow to be 6 feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds. These animals are carnivores, meaning their diet consists of mainly meat. They have a lifespan in the wild of up to 15 years, and unlike most other cats, jaguars love water and are very good swimmers.