What Do Cheetahs Eat?
Cheetahs are widely identified as the fastest animals on the planet. They have unique anatomy and physiology that allows them to reach speeds of up to 120 km/h. They, just like all the other cats, are carnivores, which means they eat red meat, but they only eat certain animals.
We have conducted an extensive study on “What Do Cheetahs Eat,” which will assist you in learning about all of the creatures that are involved in the Cheetah Diet. Moreover, this information will address any queries you may have concerning their food and the creatures they hunt.
What Do Cheetahs Eat to Survive?
Cheetahs are carnivorous animals. They must take a good source of protein to thrive, and their digestive tract is incapable of digesting other nutrients like plant stuff. Cheetahs, on the other hand, consume a wide range of meats, including the following.
Cheetahs eat a wide range of small creatures. They frequently pick small animals since they offer less of a challenge to them. Cheetahs eat a variety of small animals, including duiker, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, cane rats, and mole rats.
The cheetah’s primary dietary intake is medium-sized creatures. They like to hunt gazelles, antelope, steenbok, wildebeest, oryx, reedbuck, impalas, bushbuck, antelopes, and warthogs. These species are easy targets for a single cheetah but preferable to bigger cheetah groups.
Because they prefer medium-sized animals, cheetahs are very dangerous to farmed animals such as sheep and lambs. When put to a herd of goats or sheep, an individual cheetah can wreak havoc because they tend to knock down over one creature even if they cannot eat all of the flesh.
Cheetah groups will attack big animals such as chimpanzees, buffalo, antelope, nyala, onyx, and kudu. However, these feeds are perilous because bigger animals might be difficult to capture. Cheetahs enjoy the youngsters of bigger animals, such as baby zebra or wildebeest.
These lightning-quick creatures can also climb quite high. A cheetah can readily capture guinea fowl, ostriches, pigeons, as well as other birds. Their disguised skins allow them to play tricks on birds and trap them as they fly.
Cheetahs do require large quantities of water. They will require more water during the summertime than during the cold winter months. They can, though, go days without water. A cheetah requires water about every three to five days. They enjoy drinking water from streams or openings in the ground.
Variance in Diet
Cheetahs have no peculiar dietary patterns. They would rather go hungry than eat things that may not be included in their regular diet. Cheetahs in cages can be raised to eat carrion meat, which is the only dietary change they have. They rarely go to a dead or consume carrion, but they may do so in dire situations or if they can steal flesh from a predatory animal.
Different Species of Cheetahs and Their Diet
Cheetahs devour the creatures that live in their environment. As a result, their diet is determined by the protein sources accessible to them. Cheetahs are divided into four subspecies. Three are found in Africa, while one, the Asiatic cheetah, is found in Iran.
- East and southern African countries are home to the Southeast African cheetah. The South African cheetah primarily hunts antelopes. Springbok and nyala are their favorite breeds. Their diet also includes little quick creatures like Cape hares.
- The Saharan cheetah sometimes referred to as the Northwest African cheetah, hunts for antelope species such as the addax, Dorcas’s gazelle, Rhim gazelle, and dama gazelle in their area. They also prey on smaller mammals such as hares.
- Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda are home to the Tanzanian cheetah, also known as the East African cheetah. Thomson’s gazelle and Grant’s gazelle make up the majority of their food. They will occasionally chase rabbits and small mammals. Male packs will hunt big animals such as impalas, wildebeests, and topi antelopes. Female cheetahs target young antelopes alone.
How Much and How Frequently do Cheetahs Eat?
An adult cheetah may consume up to 10 kilograms of meat in a single day. However, consuming that much daily is unusual. They eat 2.8 kg of meat every day on average. The frequency with which a cheetah feeds is determined by its hunting skills. Adult cheetahs usually consume about once every two to five days. If a female cheetah has babies, she will hunt every day to feed herself and her cubs.
What Do Cheetahs Hunt and Eat?
Cheetahs hunt in a magnificent style. They focus on their speed and strength. Their maximum speed is approximately 120 km/h, but they can go from 0 to 100 km/h in just three seconds.
They count on their keen vision to choose their target. They silently gang up on their prey once they’ve recognized it. They then follow the creature and knock it with their bent dewclaw. Finally, they strangle it by driving their canine fangs into its throat. The cheetah prefers to forage in the early hours and afternoon to avoid the heat of the day.
The cheetah, just like all the other relatives of the cat family, is a carnivore. Springbok, gazelles, antelopes, and wildebeest are among the medium-sized wildlife they target. They also hunt deer, birds, and hare.
They prefer eating freshly kill and rarely scavenging animal leftovers that they did not hunt. Cheetahs have the best ratio when chasing Thomson’s gazelle. This indicates that this species of antelope is the preferred source of food. They do not consume plants, but they may nibble grass when they have gastrointestinal problems.
What Do Cheetahs Eat in the Zoo?
Cheetahs have been domesticated, employed for hunts, and exhibited in zoos for millennia throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa. However, they have not thrived in captivity. When a cheetah is kept in cages, its food supply alters. They are fed horse meat, chicken, beef, rabbit, and a meat-based diet specifically made for their consumption in zoos. Cheetah cubs can consume cow’s milk if taken away from their parent.
What Do Cheetahs Eat in the Wild?
Cheetahs will hunt down any small to medium-sized living creature they can locate in the wild. They will creep up on their food source and then sprint to catch it. They mostly graze on antelope, birds, gazelles, and other small animals in the habitat. However, when traveling in a group, they will hunt bigger creatures.
What Does Baby Cheetah Eat?
Cubs are the term coined for young cheetahs. Cubs are naturally born blind and completely reliant on their moms. Their eyelids will not open until they are four weeks old. Cubs do need to feed on their mother’s milk during the first 3 – 6 months.
These creatures are often weaned at three months of age, but they cannot forage alone until they become at least six months old. When they have been weaned, they rely on their mothers’ prey and start learning to hunt. They normally start hunting baby deer and rabbits around the age of 6 months. Cheetahs typically reach maturity at 15 months of age and are then skilled hunters capable of thriving on their own.
Do Cheetahs Feed on Giraffes?
Cheetahs rarely chase giraffes due to their big stature. A giraffe’s strike can harm or kill a cheetah. A cheetah devouring a giraffe is only possible if it is younger or without its parent.
Do Cheetahs Hunt Lions?
Lions are not eaten by cheetahs. The cheetah is faster, but the lion is bigger and more powerful. A cheetah will most likely flee if confronted by a lion.
Do Cheetahs Consume Elephants?
Elephants are quite enormous, and so when foraging in a group, a cheetah would be unable to chase them down. A cheetah can only consume an elephant if it has been dead and other food options are limited.
Do Cheetahs Prey on Zebras?
Cheetahs often do not eat zebras since these beasts are too huge for them to hunt down on their own. Even a big pack of cheetahs can find it difficult to attack an adult zebra. Cheetahs, on the other hand, trap and eat newborn zebra calves.
Do Cheetahs Prey on Humans?
No, cheetahs do not devour humans, and if you come across one in the wild, they will most likely flee rather than attack. They will strike if they perceive a threat or if you come between a mother and her cubs. A cheetah can be lethal in these situations.
What Can Eat a Cheetah?
Even though the cheetah has been at the top of the chain, it is outranked by a few more ferocious predators, such as the lion, panther, and hyenas. They often try to attack cheetahs, especially cubs. Adult cheetahs are difficult to capture due to their speed, but it is not impossible. Cubs are a whole different situation. When they are newly born, they are completely vulnerable, and they are easily slain in their nursery lair while the parent is out hunting.
Farmers and ranchers commonly attack cheetahs to protect their livestock. Cheetahs have no natural predators since they are not heavily relied on by other creatures. However, lions kill a substantial number of cheetah cubs.
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