Lions are capable of killing cheetahs, but lions rarely eat cheetahs. When given the chance, lions may kill adult or cub cheetahs that are found in their territory. Close to 90 percent of cheetah cubs die within a few weeks at the hands of predators, including lions.
A cheetah often kills its prey, only to have it taken away by a lion or group of lions before it is able to eat. If necessary, the lion also kills the cheetah in this encounter but is unlikely to eat it. For the most part, lions prefer to kill and eat medium-sized animals, such as zebras and gazelles.