What Foods Does a Cheetah Eat?

The cheetah, a large cat that lives in parts of Africa and Iran, is a carnivore and eats meat exclusively. Though it mainly eats mammals, it also eats certain types of birds, according to Britannica.

Cheetahs feed on large antelopes such as kudus, oryxes, roans and hartebeests, as well as smaller antelopes such as impalas, gazelles and springboks. Cheetahs mainly target the young of larger animals. They also eat warthogs, hares and rabbits. Once they catch and kill a large animal, they drag it to an isolated location and eat it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, they risk losing it to hyenas, lions, leopards and jackals, notes Britannica.

Unlike most big cats, cheetahs hunt when it is light, either in early morning or late afternoon. They are the fastest land mammals in the world, with the capability of going from a standstill to 60 miles an hour in only three seconds. Cheetahs also are extremely agile and can make sudden turns in pursuit of prey. They tire quickly, however, and rely on their first burst of speed to bring down their prey. During the chase, they try to trip or knock down their prey, and then bite its throat to cut off its air supply or puncture an artery.