Cheetahs are terrestrial animals, and they often seek shelter in the shade of trees after sunset. They choose trees where they feel secure and have less potential of encountering a predator in the middle of the night. They may climb tree limbs and settle there for the night.
While many animals build nests and shelters for themselves and their young, cheetahs do not construct their own shelters and instead seek out available options, such as in trees or behind tall, thick plants and high grasses. The color of their coat and their dark spots serve as camouflage when they rest behind shrubs and under trees. They hunt in the morning and in late afternoon, and spend most of their day resting under the shade of trees. Their spotted coats act as a camouflage against the speckled light that filters through the canopy.
Unlike leopards and tigers who have nocturnal vision, cheetahs are diurnal and hunt in the early morning hours when they can track their prey and detect motions in the light of day. The fastest living animal on land, a cheetah can easily outrun or lunge at its prey. Unlike other animals, cheetahs do not have an extraordinary sense of smell, and they use their eyes to scan their habitat for prey.