Snow leopards are carnivores and eat meat. Their preferred prey animals are the Asiatic ibex, which is a large type of wild goat, and the argali, which is a type of wild sheep.
Snow leopards have also been known to hunt small mammals, birds and domestic animals. They mainly hunt during the dawn and dusk hours. They are ambush predators, using their coat as camouflage to blend in with their surroundings and surprise unsuspecting prey. They are considered one of the top predators in the Central Asian high mountains and play a very important role in keep the populations of wild goat and sheep under control.